New Jersey Governor Chris Christie isn't exactly known for his liberal stances on social issues. He toes the line -- just barely. But one solid thing he did do was ban the practice of 'conversion' therapy for gay teenagers. The ban stops therapists (if you can call them that) from offering therapy to "cure" homosexuality.
Even typing that explanation made a vein in my eyeball bulge with indignation. It's disgusting that this sort of therapy even still exists. It seems completely counterintuitive to the therapeutic process! One family in NJ doesn't agree. They're suing for the right to have their gay teenager son converted.
On the surface, the suit they are bringing forth could read as genuine parental concern. They say their son is hurting. They say that his homosexuality is causing him great distress and has led him to thoughts of suicide. No parent wants their child to be in such anguish. But no decent parent should leap to the idea of professionally repressing the identity the child is struggling with as a reasonable means to an end.
If the boy's parents are so keen on rescuing their son from emotional turmoil that they are willing to sue the state, why aren't they willing to consider a much easier solution? Namely, finding a therapist to help their son work through his feelings of self-loathing. I'll tell you why this isn't an option for them. Because the minute this kid starts dealing with a loving, accepting mental health professional, he'll start to realize that the messages of hate he's turned inwards have an origin -- and that place of origin? It's totally his parents. I hope this poor teenager can escape the grasp of his hate-filled parents and take the steps necessary to embrace his identity.
Do you think these parents are crazy and out of line, or just doing what they think is best? GUESS WHICH SIDE I LAND ON?
Image via ep_jhu/Flickr