Dear Honorable Members of the New Jersey Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee:
As parents of gay children, we urge you to vote against Senate Bill 2278, erroneously titled, “Protects minors by prohibiting attempts to change sexual orientation.” This proposed legislation, initiated by the gay lobby to ensure that children receive only homosexual-affirming therapy by banning heterosexual therapy, is an act of childhood endangerment and an unconstitutional attempt to deny parental rights in New Jersey and your district.
Your bill will turn New Jersey into a nanny state by usurping the civil rights of parents who support their child's right to receive therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, especially when that child has been sexually molested by a same-sex adult and is now confused about their sexual orientation. Denying children and their parents the right to receive support and the availability of full therapeutic assistance is legally and morally wrong.
As parents of gays and ex-gays, we urge you to not take action against parents, children, and the family. New Jersey should not dictate to parents on how they raise their own children nor restrict a parent’s ability to provide all forms of support for their children.
This bill endangers youth by denying their right to receive therapeutic help, promoting homosexual behavior to sexually confused youth, and conveniently ignoring the facts about the psychological and physical health risks of homosexual behavior. The sponsors of this bill lack credible knowledge about changeable sexual preference and have obtained biased information without consulting the ex-gay community.
Indeed, the bill is discriminatory on its face because it bans heterosexual therapy while allowing gay affirming therapy and gender change, a dangerous and controversial procedure where children are given life risking hormones or their puberty process is deliberately delayed. Why is it that children are allowed to change their gender identity but not their sexual orientation?
The American Psychological Association adheres to a code of ethics which calls on their members to respect a person's right to self-determination. Therefore the only question is this: Should homosexuals have the right to determine heterosexuality? That is, should homosexuals have the right to veto heterosexuality by legislating a ban of heterosexual therapy?
Are you aware that the APA admitted at its August 2001 conference that no body of evidence existed to prove that sexual reorientation therapies are harmful? In 2009, the APA stated that research on harm from sexual orientation change efforts is limited, and some of the research that exists suffers from methodological limitations that make broad and definitive conclusions difficult. [Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, p. 67 (APA, 2009)]
This same APA also stated that affirmative approaches [gay-affirming therapy efforts] have “not been evaluated for safety and efficacy." Id. at 91. Therefore homosexual affirming therapy should have been included in the proposed legislation as it has not been proven to be safe.
For the safety of children, please read the 2010 CDC AIDS report: 77% of diagnosed HIV infections were attributed to MSM (men who have sex with men). Of those aged 13 to 24 youth, 89% was attributed to MSM. In fact, MSM aged 13 to 24 youth had the greatest increase in diagnosis (44%). There’s your harm to minors! Why would anyone want to prevent youth from receiving counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions when those attractions can kill them? Yet this bill does exactly that.
Please read our brochure on these facts at http://www.pfox.org/Can-Sexual-Origintation_Change.pdf and vote against Senate Bill 2278. Yes, the gay lobby is a powerful one, but our children are worth more than wealthy political groups. Fear of heterosexuality by some groups is no reason to punish children.
For the children from parents,
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays -- PFOX
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is the nation's leading advocacy organization for the ex-gay community, their families, and individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions.
Members of the New Jersey Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee:
Vitale, Joseph F. - Chair
Madden, Fred H. - Vice-Chair