Friday, a federal judge struck down a lawsuit against New Jersey’s ban of gay conversion therapy for kids under the age of 18, saying the ban doesn’t violate anyone’s constitutional rights of free speech or freedom of religion.
In August, the bill was signed into law by New Jersey governor Chris Christie and only a few days after, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of therapists Tara King and Ronald Newman, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and the American Association for of Christian Counselors.
Their claim was that the law hurt their clients who actually wanted the treatment.
According to NJ.com, a separate lawsuit brought forth by the parents a 15-year-old boy made the argument that law interferes with the boy’s right to self-determination and the parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children.
U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson says otherwise.
Having found that the statute only regulates conduct, and not speech in any constitutionally protected form, the Plaintiffs’ arguments regarding the statute being overly broad are largely irrelevant.
The law prohibits any licensed therapist, psychologist, social worker or counselor from using any gay conversion techniques on anyone under the age of 18. Anyone who doesn’t follow the law risk losing their license. The law doesn’t apply to clergy or anyone who isn’t licensed by the state.
New Jersey is the second state in America to make such a law, with California being the first earlier this year.