Congratulates Garden State Equality For Their Tireless Work To Protect New Jersey’s Children From Predatory “Ex-Gay” Practitioners

Burlington, Vt. — Truth Wins Out applauded the New Jersey assembly for passing a bill, by a margin of 56-14, to ban harmful, predatory “ex-gay” therapy for minors. The state Senate is expected to adopt the bill on Thursday, which will make New Jersey the second state, after California, to recognize the threat posed to our youth by discredited, harmful “reparative therapy,” and to codify that recognition into law.

Truth Wins Out has been at the forefront of the fight to protect all LGBT people from the scourge of the “ex-gay” industry. Founding executive director Wayne Besen testified before the assembly on the proven harms of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation.

“New Jersey has taken a monumental step to protect its children this week,” said Besen. “This law is a natural progression for all who want to make sure that kids don’t become lifelong victims of the whims of misguided adults. The damage done by so-called reparative therapy is well documented, and just as we have age of consent laws to protect our kids from the advances of sexual predators, we owe it to them to make sure they don’t fall prey to charlatans in therapist costumes who are simply abusers of a different kind. We applaud the members of the New Jersey assembly for voting based on reason, facts and science.”

Truth Wins Out also applauded Garden State Equality, who were instrumental in the passage of this bill, and are to be commended for understanding the importance of preventing the sort of child abuse that is inherent in the practice of “reparative therapy.” According to Troy Stevenson, executive director of Garden State Equality:

“This practice is an abuse of the term ‘therapy’ and it is abuse in no uncertain terms. Any attempt to take an immutable and fundamental aspect of a persons character and change it to suit someone else’s will is selfish and often soul destroying for the victim. The legislation passed today will save lives; it will protect our youth; and it is vital that the Senate pass it on Thursday and that the Governor sign the bill as soon as possible.”

The opposition to this bill was as fierce as it was ridiculous, led by so-called “ex-gays” Greg Quinlan of the New Jersey Family Policy Council and Christopher Doyle of the International Healing Foundation. Despite all the evidence showing that so-called reparative therapy leads to higher incidences of depression, drug abuse, self destructive behavior and suicide attempts among those who fall prey to it, and despite the fact that every major medical and mental health association condemns the practice, they cynically attempted to conflate all those with science and reality on their sides with Jerry Sandusky, the notorious child abuser from Penn State. New Jersey legislators, however, saw this for the farce, and perhaps for the projection, that it is.

The New Jersey vote comes less than a week after the widely reported closure of Exodus International, once the flagship of the now flailing “ex-gay” industry, whose former executive director, Alan Chambers, admitted that the treatments are ineffective at best, and that 99.9% of the people he had encountered in his work with Exodus had experienced no change in sexual orientation. Chambers also apologized profusely and in great detail for all the harm that his organization had caused for countless LGBT individuals and their families over their thirty-seven year history.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has stated that he opposes so called “reparative therapy,” and Truth Wins Out strongly encourages him to promptly sign the bill when it comes across his desk.

Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.