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Published On: Wed, Nov 6th, 2013

New Jersey family sues over gay therapy ban, wants help for son’s ‘unwanted gender identity disorder’

Parents in New Jersey are suing Governor Chris Christie and the state over the new law restricting reparative therapy, counseling for gays and lesbians in an effort “to turn them straight.”

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The parents claim in the lawsuit that the teen began thinking of himself more as a girl than a boy and subsequently displayed female mannerisms. Around the age of 12 or 13, he began to have same-sex attraction, which the family claims led to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Visits to a social worker in New York appeared to be “truly helping” the boy, age 15, so the family was set to meet with a psychotherapist to go further, but when they called Ronald Newman, a conversion therapist, the parents were told that conversion therapy for minors was banned as of Aug. 19, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported.

Mat Staver, founder of the conservative Liberty Counsel, the group that filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family, spoke out against the ban in a statement Tuesday.

“Before states began passing legislation banning change therapy, the treatment was driven by the minor’s desired outcome. Our client and his family were on the way to that desired outcome, until Governor Christie signed a law prohibiting further treatment,” he said, going on to call the ban “a horrible government intrusion into personal healthcare and counseling choices.”

While Christie signed the law, he acknowledged concerns over government overreach and its impact on parental choice

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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