Gov. Christie signs ban on gay conversion therapy in New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday signed a bill banning gay conversion therapy.

New Jersey became the second state, along with California, to pass a ban.

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In a signing statement, Christie said he approved the bill “reluctantly” and government should tread carefully into the area.

The law will ban any therapy to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

On this issue, Christie said the potential negative effects outweigh any criticism of government intrusion into parental choice. He said lawmakers should defer to experts like the American Psychological Association, which cited depression and suicide as potential repercussions from the therapy.

“I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate,” he said.

Christie, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, had remained cagey about whether or not he would sign the bill passed by the state legislature in June.

Christie had long maintained that he believed homosexuals were born that way and that it is not a sin — something he acknowledged went against his church’s teachings. He reiterated that sentiment Monday in a press release announcing his approval of the bill.

This story was posted at 9:28 a.m. and updated at 12:06 p.m.