A New Jersey couple is suing Gov. Chris Christie over the ban on gay conversion therapy he signed into law in August. The law prevents licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight. But the couple argues that their 15-year-old son doesn't want to be gay and needs this therapy. To them, the law infringes on their constitutional rights to free speech and free exercise of religion.
The unnamed couple say their son suffers from "unwanted gender identity disorder and unwanted same-sex attractions" and has contemplated suicide. To be clear, the American Psychological Association has deemed gay conversion quackery. Beyond the fact that it doesn't succeed in turning anyone straight, it is affirmatively harmful.
Dr. Jack Drescher, MD, a distinguished fellow at the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, insists that the opinion that "being gay is a choice has no basis in current scientific thinking. Not only is homosexuality 'not a choice,' as most efforts to try and change a person's sexual orientation fail, but some attempts to change can cause harm and damage to an individual’s well-being."