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Denny Burk

Gov. Chris Christie’s broadside against religious liberty

Governor Chris Christie has just made New Jersey the second state to prohibit licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of gay minors. Like recent legislation in California, the New Jersey law is a disaster at a number of levels.

This bill not only prohibits “reparative therapy.” It prohibits any and all attempts by licensed counselors to change a child’s sexual orientation. And there’s more. The bill not only prohibits any and all efforts to change sexual orientation. It also prohibits any and all attempts to change sexual behavior in gay minors!

So if a child has unwanted same-sex attractions and is beginning to act out on those unwanted attractions, the state of New Jersey prohibits licensed counselors from helping him. He has no recourse now but to find someone with no state credentials. How is this law not an infringement upon the religious liberty and conscience rights of this child? Not to mention those of his parents?

Any attempt to change a child’s “gender expression” is also prohibited under this law. That means that if a parent has a young boy who likes to put on dresses and wear make-up, New Jersey law prohibits licensed counselors from helping that boy. Counselors must approve and support whatever gender that child chooses regardless of the child’s sex.

The law also means that licensed service providers who also happen to be Christian will have to choose. They can either abandon Christian teaching or they can abandon their profession. The law now prohibits them from doing both. You just watch. Any counselor or therapist who tries to buck the system on this one will lose their credentials from the state. There will be no religious liberty exception.

Read the rest of the article here.