US: New Jersey Assembly passes bill to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy

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The Assembly in the US State of New Jersey has passed a bill which would make it illegal to perform ‘gay cure’ therapy on minors.

The bill passed in the Assembly with 56 votes to 14, with seven abstentions.

The Senate in the state delayed a vote on the bill back in late May. It is likely that the Senate will take up the bill on Thursday, reports the AP.

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.