US: New Jersey Senate delays vote on gay ‘cure therapy’ ban

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The Senate in the US state of New Jersey has delayed a vote on whether or not to ban the controversial practice of gay “conversion therapy” on minors.

The postponement was made on Thursday in order to make changes to the bill, which aims to ban licensed practitioners from offering services aiming to “cure” gay minors.

The changes intended to be made to the bill were not specified.

The legislation would ban licensed counsellors including psychologists, social workers and therapists, from the practice of attempting to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

The New Jersey Senate Health Committee in April passed legislation to ban the practice with 7 votes to 1.

In a statement shortly after the bill passed the Senate committee, Governor Chris Christie said that he did not agree with the controversial therapy.

Opponents to the bill at the House news conference called the bill the “Jerry Sandusky Victimisation Act”, and claimed that many gay children are victims of sexual assault, but keeping them away from “gay cure” therapy would prevent them from reporting those crimes.

Jerry Sandusky is a convicted paedophile who was married to a woman. He was charged with 40 counts of sexually abusing at least eight young boys over the course of several years.

Many health organisations condemn the practice, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organisation.

Those opposed to it have agreed that it can cause serious and long-term harm.