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Chris Christie bans reparative therapy for minors

Via Bloomberg:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican…said that homosexuality is inborn and not a sin…as he signed a bill banning therapy that tries to change a minor’s sexual orientation. Christie said such efforts pose “critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”

“Exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate,” Christie, 50, said today in the statement.

The question is whether this is an entirely good thing.

I love it (don’t we all!) that Christie told his constituents the truth about New Jersey’s budget mess, which he inherited from Wall Street rip-off artist and Democrat, Jon Corzine. But some of Christie’s other positions suggest a Big Government, authoritarian streak in him. Perhaps this is one.

Low as my opinion of reparative therapy is, some people (probably a small minority, when we’re talking about men) can change their orientation if they want to, and none of us have the moral right to stop them from getting assistance.

Minors do need a higher standard of protection, but that’s why they have parents. So, either way, I’m not sure this should be Chris Christie’s (or government’s) decision.

At the very least, the “age of consent” for gay sex and reparative therapy ought to be the same. A teenager who is viewed legally as old enough to make his own decisions about sex, should be old enough to make his own decisions about what therapy he may want.

UPDATE: Apologies to Kurt for ‘topping’ his excellent post; I wrote this one in a hurry, without checking the blog first as I should have. Having said that, the issue I’m raising here is the liberty of the one who (rightly or wrongly) may seek reparative therapy. The individual has a right to pursue the life she thinks is best, even when Chris Christie (or gay activists, or anyone else) thinks it’s a mistake.

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76 Comments

  1. plas·tic (plstk)
    adj.
    1. Capable of being shaped or formed: plastic material such as clay.

    5. Easily influenced; impressionable.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 22, 2013 @ 10:01 am - August 22, 2013

  2. This theme about the sexual orientation worries of a teen and that teen’s subsequent encounter with “gay mentoring” and/or “abusive parenting” and/or “Bible thumpers” keeps coming back on this site. Some commenters in the past carried it into teen suicide so often that I branded it: “waving the bloody shirt.”

    I am beginning to believe that the agenda here is for the state to step in and do “reparative therapy” on the parents and the kid’s the peer group and to ban all social forces that may trouble the teen further. In fact, I believe that is well underway by many zealous amateurs deciding how to present the cultural side of sex “education.”

    Gays make up about 3% of the population. What percentage of gays have this troubled teen burden? Certainly, it is important to try to help as many people as possible with their coping needs, but we have to be realistic. Those three teens who shot the Australian athlete out for a jog are a real challenge in the troubled teen department. (The parallel being about troubled teens as a category, not sexual orientation as the source of the trouble.)

    Beyond the period of being a troubled teen, it would seem that a certain emotional maturity would settle in as the gay adult takes stock of himself and figures out how to blaze his own trail in life. However, plenty of adults who are not gay do drugs, drink to excess, have rotten relationships, commit crimes, suffer mental problems or just sit around being shiftless. So those adults can’t use sexual orientation as a “cause” of their problems. However, they could all attack fundamentalist Christians for seemingly tsk-tsking at them.

    The bottom line, as I understand it, is that source of same sex orientation is still pretty much unknown. So, fooling around with it is on a best guess basis. That means, to me, that there will be a lot of failure and that those gays who suffer from identity problems are in for a long haul and likely to be disappointed in sorting out the problems that are unique to them.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 22, 2013 @ 10:28 am - August 22, 2013

  3. I’m talking about minors who are old enough (says the law) to meaningfully consent to sex. Like I said: If a 16-year old can legally consent to sex, then he or she should be able to consent to reparative therapy, providing in both cases that the consent is genuine (unforced).

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 20, 2013 @ 2:16 pm – August 20, 2013

    First off, you’re confusing a biological function with the equivalent of a medical procedure. Could you consent to a sexual act at sixteen? I’m pretty sure I could have—I know I certainly wanted to.

    But that is far different than being able to consent to a medical or psychological procedure. Aside from the ability to properly process all the necessary information needed for informed consent (risks, outcomes, etc), there’s a growing body of evidence that the human brain is not fully formed until around age 25. It is one of the bases for the prohibition of capital punishment for juvenile offenders. Assuming that is universal, then it would also suggest there isn’t literally the mental capacity to make such a decision. (This doesn’t even get into the issue of ‘genuine (unforced)’ consent, which others have adequately addressed.)

    Should sixteen-year-olds be able to get an abortion, if that’s “what they really want”? How about plastic surgery? A circumcision or clitoridectomy? To further extrapolate in the LGBTQXYZ realm, should sixteen-year-olds be able to consent to lopping off their breasts (if female) or penis & testes (if male) simply because they are convinced they are transgendered? [I say ‘no’ on the latter, even if it is clear they have had gender identity issues from an early age.] Hell, in many states, those under 18 can’t even get a tattoo without a signed parental consent form.

    Then there’s the propriety of the therapy technique itself, which as others have properly noted, is dubious at best and inherently abusive at worse. But, as also has been said, if you’re an adult then committing self-harm should be your right in a free society. That also assumes you have attained the wherewithal to make an informed decision on such issues.

    Comment by RSG — August 22, 2013 @ 10:28 am - August 22, 2013

  4. Does anyone have a link to what Charles Krauthammer and Gregg Guttfield, my two favorite talking heads on Fox News, have to say about Christie signing this legislation?

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 21, 2013 @ 1:52 pm – August 21, 2013

    Greg is on vacation this week (though still an active Tweeter); and I would also love to know what Dr Krauthammer thinks about it, being a former psychiatrist himself. If I can find out, I will post.

    Comment by RSG — August 22, 2013 @ 10:35 am - August 22, 2013

  5. First off, you’re confusing a biological function with the equivalent of a medical procedure.

    No, I’m aware of the differences, thank you. You tell yourself that I must be confused about it, just because you don’t like what I have to say.

    [consenting to a sexual relationship] is far different than being able to consent to a medical or psychological procedure. Aside from the ability to properly process all the necessary information needed for informed consent (risks, outcomes, etc), there’s a growing body of evidence that the human brain is not fully formed until around age 25.

    No it isn’t; the two decisions involve similar complexity, lack of real information about what could be coming, and degrees of impact (or potential danger). You have, in effect, just made a good argument for raising the age of consent to 25. (Which is not something I advocate.)

    Should sixteen-year-olds be able to get an abortion, if that’s “what they really want”? How about plastic surgery?

    I haven’t said that they should. Perhaps you missed the conditional in my sentence that you quoted (the “If”).

    Then there’s the propriety of the therapy technique itself, which as others have properly noted, is dubious at best and inherently abusive at worse.

    “Inherently” abusive? Be specific. I have a feeling that you might only mean abuses that were already illegal, under current law.

    What if the therapy involves no such abuses? Why should it be illegal, then? It still might be ineffective or ill-advised, but…. Illegal? Really? You want government to have that much ‘say’ over what people can or can’t attempt, in pursuit of their own happiness?

    (And before you say, but we’re talking about minors here not about adults; then my answer to that again would be, “I’m talking about minors who are old enough (says the law) to meaningfully consent to sex”, minors whom the law already treats as near-adults, in the area of sexuality.)

    I don’t think this NJ law is about protecting kids. I think it’s about a political culture that looks for every excuse (large or tiny) to extend government’s power a little more; and about a Gay Left lobby that wants to show off its power, by making it illegal for a parent to help his kid even just to explore the possibility of *not* being gay.

    I remain opposed to parents pushing or forcing their kids into reparative therapy. Consent, or the Freedom to Choose, is what I’m all about.

    Not that a child’s choices should be unlimited – but again, IF the law views the kid as competent to make his own sexual decisions, then the law should view him as equally competent to make his own sexual therapy decisions.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 22, 2013 @ 10:46 am - August 22, 2013

  6. ND30, you avoided answering my direct question, did you move San Francisco or were you born there?

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 22, 2013 @ 10:51 am - August 22, 2013

  7. Greg is on vacation this week (though still an active Tweeter); and I would also love to know what Dr Krauthammer thinks about it, being a former psychiatrist himself. If I can find out, I will post. – Comment by RSG — August 22, 2013 @ 10:35 am – August 22, 2013

    Thanks, I have have even tried to find out what Glenn Reynolds has to say about this legislation. I am a big fan of his blog and respect his opinion on nearly everything.

    In South Carolina a teenager can only get a tattoo if he or she has the permission of their parents. I know this only because a school teacher told me that a middle school student showed up one day after a vacation with a tattoo. The school was required by state law to call child services to investigate.

    I also believe that your post @53 is the best so far on this thread.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 22, 2013 @ 12:24 pm - August 22, 2013

  8. ND30, you avoided answering my direct question, did you move San Francisco or were you born there?

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 22, 2013 @ 10:51 am – August 22, 2013

    That wasn’t your question, Swampfox. This was.

    You live in San Francisco. Were you born there or did you feel like you had to pack and move to the gay capital of the United States?

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 22, 2013 @ 6:37 am – August 22, 2013

    And the correct answer to that is neither. The real reason is much more straightforward.

    And before you ask, it wasn’t my choice. It was a matter of my career and life being much more transplantable than my partner’s was. But after thirty years here, even my New York-born, votes-Democrat-by-habit partner is open to the idea of moving back to the red states that so terrify 98% of the LGBT community here.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 22, 2013 @ 5:42 pm - August 22, 2013

  9. You avoided answering why you lived in San Francisco, plain and simple. I assume you moved to New York and met your New York native partner there? If so, I should have asked why you started off living in the second gay capital of the United States, New York. And, I am making an assumption that you moved from New York to San Francisco. Darn, I am making way too many assumptions.

    If you are so unhappy in San Francisco, and I would be, I would suggest that you both pack up and move. Congratulations on with being with your partner for so long. You are welcome to move to South Carolina. The cost of living is much less, but isn’t nearly as gay friendly as San Francisco or New York. Three areas are fairly gay friendly in South Carolina. Greenville, where Bruce lives. Charleston, where I was born and lived the first five year of my life. And, the Columbia area.

    I look forward to the day that gays and lesbians no longer have to move to gay friendly areas in order to live their lives peacefully. But, we both know that is not going to happen in our lifetimes.

    May you live a long and happy life.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 22, 2013 @ 8:05 pm - August 22, 2013

  10. Oops, I failed to click on your hyperlink “The real question is not so easy”. Feel free to reprimand me and fill in the blanks as from where did you move back in 2005. Congratulations on your eight year relationship with your New York born Democrat voting partner. Straighten out that darn gay bigot! Gee, you have me calling someone a gay bigot. Let’s all live life with a little bit of humor. Life is one big soap opera. At the age of 62 absolutely nothing amazes me anymore.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 22, 2013 @ 8:32 pm - August 22, 2013

  11. To me this is a freedom issue and overstep and overreaction by Christie. I neither t agree once gay always gay nor a lot o so called therapy, but being a Reformed Christian what is imposable with men is possible in Christ. Now if I had a child who come to the saving knowledge in Christ and want to get good biblical counseling (Exodus International need not to apply) it not up to the Gay patriot or Christie to decide for us.

    Comment by Scatcatpdx — August 22, 2013 @ 9:44 pm - August 22, 2013

  12. I asked it here, and I have to ask it again here:

    Would all of you people that support an absolute, uncompromising right of parents to raise their kids be fine with a father sleeping with his daughter, say? Or what about refusing to feed their children? What about Muslim fundamentalist parents saying “don’t make me ‘honor’ kill you?”

    Are you really going to set up a line where parents have 100% control over their children with no sense of their being any line or limit?

    I would call myself an “absolute” defender of, say, free speech in modern society, but there’s no contradiction between that and saying that you can’t sell someone peanut butter crammed with salmonella that you say is fine, say. Same for being a defender of parental rights in general but setting up a line when it comes to Moms and Dads that are actively harming their children with malice, knowing exactly what they’re doing.

    Comment by SwiperTheFox — August 23, 2013 @ 10:48 am - August 23, 2013

  13. One of the worst ironies here is the NorthDallasThirty people and the FreeKate people are exactly the same in one fundamental area– both of them believe that adults are allowed to force sexual activity upon children.

    I hardly care that that the NorthDallasThirty people are fine with forcing children into “aversion therapy” camps to be exposed to pornography, stripped nude, made to touch their bodies sexually and touch others, and so on because God wills it– and all this will supposedly ‘convert’ those children– while the FreeKate people are fine with horny weirdo teens forcing children to sexually submit to them for sex.

    Either way, it’s creeps me out. Is it really such a big deal to say that children have a right to be children without parents and other adults making them do sexual things? And that there should be laws for that?

    Comment by SwiperTheFox — August 23, 2013 @ 10:54 am - August 23, 2013

  14. Tangental.

    State supreme court forces gay filmmaker to film conception rites of ‘breeders’ in violaiton of his faith.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 23, 2013 @ 11:56 am - August 23, 2013

  15. Notice the dishonest arguments of the bigot SwiperTheFox.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you support incest.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you support starving children.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you support honor killings.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you “force children into “aversion therapy” camps to be exposed to pornography, stripped nude, made to touch their bodies sexually and touch others, and so on because God wills it”.

    These are all flat-out lies. They are nothing but an attempt to demonize, bully, and brutalize people into doing what the bigot says by namecalling.

    And what they show is that there are no facts for this. There is just pure irrational hate and bigotry on the part of SwiperTheFox, as exemplified by SwiperTheFox’s statement that all “Protestant fundamentalists” are child abusers.

    What we have to realize is that people like SwiperTheFox do not understand that liberty means not only that you can do things that other people like, but that they can do things that you don’t like.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 23, 2013 @ 12:43 pm - August 23, 2013

  16. liberty means not only that you can do things that other people like, but that they can do things that you don’t like.

    Amen to that!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 23, 2013 @ 5:14 pm - August 23, 2013

  17. The song “Same Love” is playing these days on WNOK in Columbia, SC.

    Oh, the world is filled with so many bigots, bigots, bigots……

    Here is a link to the songs Video and lyrics.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 23, 2013 @ 6:52 pm - August 23, 2013

  18. Oops, here is the link to the Video and lyrics of the song:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQngzapK5dM

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 23, 2013 @ 6:53 pm - August 23, 2013

  19. SwiperTheDipstick @ #62:

    Would all of you people that support an absolute, uncompromising right of parents to raise their kids be fine with …..

    Mr. SwiperTheDipstick: Please name the people on this site who support an absolute, uncompromising right of parents …… to do whatever those parents can dream up such as child prostitution, porn flicks, slavery, or planting IED’s at the daycare center. [Or, planting IUD’s in the daycare center mistress.]

    Thank you.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 23, 2013 @ 8:22 pm - August 23, 2013

  20. The song “Same Love” is playing these days on WNOK in Columbia, SC.

    Oh, the world is filled with so many bigots, bigots, bigots……

    Here is a link to the songs Video and lyrics.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 23, 2013 @ 6:52 pm – August 23, 2013

    Yup.

    Which is hilarious, because the artist endorses and supports murdering Christians and conservatives and telling people to kill themselves.

    So he’s a bigot. And a malicious liar and hypocrite.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 23, 2013 @ 9:17 pm - August 23, 2013

  21. No, ND30, you are condemning everyone on the left for the words of a few.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 23, 2013 @ 10:08 pm - August 23, 2013

  22. Mr. SwiperTheDipstick? Heliotrope, I didn’t think you would result to name calling. Let’s attempt to keep this discussion civil.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 23, 2013 @ 10:17 pm - August 23, 2013

  23. SC.Swampfox,

    Our definitions of “civility” are at variance. The commenter wrote an ignorant and bombastic question embedded in a low intelligence charge.

    To wit: “Would all of you people that support an absolute, uncompromising right of parents to raise their kids be fine with …….”

    It doesn’t matter what follows that supercilious opening because the questioner has already quashed any possibility of either logic coming into play or civility.

    In my ancient life, that makes the person a dipstick. A dipstick is a convenience for measuring how low the oil is in your motor. In this commenter’s case, judging by the pompous, imperious nature of forming a loaded question (have you stopped beating your wife?) which is the fallacy of “Plurium Interrogationum” in formal logic, he is certainly a dipstick and perhaps very low on oil.

    Any incivility on my part is the problem of calling it as I see it. Call it overbearing truth. Call it unclassy. Call it fed up. Call it uncivil if you see it as that way.

    Why is it permissible to call someone uncivil without specifying why you are doing so?

    I am a patient and largely velvet gloved person. But that does not mean that I have to suffer fools gladly. The man came here to make a comment that, supposedly, is worth considering. He should get in touch with his ability to ask a “civil” question before he churns out a stacked deck of tacit innuendo and fallacy of logic.

    Perhaps I should have engaged in some guiding foreplay before I whacked him.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 24, 2013 @ 9:40 am - August 24, 2013

  24. Heliotrope, your comment at excellent @73. Well done. That’s the old Heliotrope I know.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 24, 2013 @ 11:59 am - August 24, 2013

  25. or planting IED’s at the daycare center. [Or, planting IUD’s in the daycare center mistress.]

    I have heard calls at work where someone calls in for “IED benefits” when they mean IUD.

    “I’d like to know if having an IED implanted is a covered expence, we don’t want kids right now.”
    “I’ll check, but I think that might be a bit drastic…”

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 26, 2013 @ 7:27 am - August 26, 2013

  26. Just what is your freaking problem, Jeffy baby?

    [Jeff adds: The commentor’s URL suggests that he comes from the “Sadly, No” world. I hope he’s not typical of what goes on there, because he has mis-spelled his own handle (from other info, he meant “Cerberus”). And he seems to find something objectionable in this post’s defense of human freedom, but can’t tell us what it is.]

    Comment by Ceberus — September 1, 2013 @ 4:51 am - September 1, 2013

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