By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com March 21 2013 3:08 PM ET
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knows too little about supposed ex-gay therapy to say whether it should be illegal, he told reporters on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that Christie side-stepped a question about a ban on so-called reparative therapy that is advancing through the state's legislature. The Republican governor, who vetoed a marriage equality bill last year, said he isn't sure whether he'd do the same in this case.
"I'm of two minds just on this stuff in general," he said, according to the Star-Ledger. "Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children." And he said his "general philosophy" is that "on bills that restrict parents ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, I'm generally a skeptic of those bills. Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them."
(RELATED: Teen From Viral Video Testifies in N.J. Against Repartive Therapy)
His potential Democratic challenger in an upcoming reelection fight, state senator Barbara Buono, told the Star-Ledger that she questioned "how much more you need to know" before opposing the therapy, which is condemned as harmful by the American Psychological Association. She said Christie demonstrated a "stunning level of ignorance."
If enacted, New Jersey would follow California's lead on this law. That state's bill banned reparative therapy for minors and is being challenged in court by opponents who argue it's a violation of teens' free speech by denying them the chance to be "cured."