Governor Chris Christie’s Outrageous Decision

Kengor_Catholic_Chris Christy Gay Conversion_090913

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican governor and lifelong Roman Catholic who has been solid on pro-life matters and shutterstock_133013444 (1)many other issues, has signed a bill barring licensed therapists from offering so-called “gay-conversion therapy” in his state, making New Jersey only the second state to do so, along with California.

This means that a young person in New Jersey who might feel homosexual desires, but would like to avoid that lifestyle, or not act upon those feelings, will not be able to see a therapist for help in New Jersey—a therapist who specializes in trying to help people turn away from that lifestyle. Likewise, the option will not be available to the young person’s parents.

Gay activists were thrilled with the decision. New Jersey assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored the legislation and is openly gay, described such therapy as “an insidious form of child abuse.” Activists insist that conversion therapy is damaging because it tells young people that it’s not okay to be “what they are.”

Of course, that’s assuming they know what they are. You don’t need to be an “expert” in this area to know that many young people are racked by confusing questions about sexuality, especially because of this insane, sexually saturated culture. Many might want to avoid acting upon all sorts of feelings, homosexual or heterosexual. Likewise, their parents might prefer that. Once upon a time in America, when we had more freedom, those youngsters, with their parents’ support, could see someone for help for such things. But not in New Jersey—so long as the behavior is homosexual.

I have a close colleague who for years has been a leading expert in “gay conversion” therapy. He’s a devout evangelical. After intense research, he concluded that some people can change and others seem unable—a conclusion that has brought him heat from both gay activists and fellow evangelicals. But the point is: some would like to change and can. Some, especially those more religiously inclined, believe such behavior—not unlike premarital sex or cheating on one’s spouse—is sinful, and would like help.

As for Governor Christie, however, he said that he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. As Politico noted, “That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith, which teaches that homosexual acts are sins.”

Yes, it sure does.

But not only has Christie dismissed his longtime faith and teaching. He has also shown that he can be bullied by the gay-rights lobby—bullied into a position that is the antithesis of freedom. Think about it: a New Jersey teen, and his or her parents, no longer have this freedom.

To that end, where’s the outrage from liberals, libertarians, civil libertarians? Where’s the ACLU? Shouldn’t this be a matter of choice, of freedom of choice? They support choice everywhere else, including the so-called choice of a young person in New Jersey or anywhere else in America, to choose an abortion. They don’t bar so-called “health professionals” from providing that “service.”

This is an outrage. It’s such an outrage that I, as a Republican and a Catholic, will not vote for Chris Christie if he gets the Republican nomination for president in 2016. I will stay home.

image: L.E.MORMILE /

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Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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