New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a ban on gay conversion therapy.
In a note explaining his rationale, Governor Christie said he believes that people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin, the Associated Press reported. Scientific studies show that genetics may partly explain a person's orientation. Christie is a member of the Catholic Church, which believes that having a same-sex orientation isn't a sin, but that acting on same-sex attraction is wrong.
In June, one of the most famous gay conversion therapy organizations, Exodus International, closed its doors and its president issued a lengthy apology for the damage he caused. The American Psychological Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a disorder in 1973, and in 2009 a task force found that gay conversion therapy is ineffective and can cause depression, thoughts of suicide and loss of sexual feelings.
Christie noted in his letter that the harms associated with the therapy outweigh concerns about limiting parental power.
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Tia is the managing editor and was previously a senior writer for Live Science. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Wired.com and other outlets. She holds a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington, a graduate certificate in science writing from UC Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Tia was part of a team at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that published the Empty Cradles series on preterm births, which won multiple awards, including the 2012 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.