New Jersey has joined California in a ban on conversion therapy.
Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Monday barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight, making New Jersey the second state to ban conversion therapy, along with California.
The move is the latest example of the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate steering a moderate course.
The governor said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, as identified by the American Psychological Association, trump concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice. “Government should tread carefully into this area,” he said in the signing note, “and I do so here reluctantly,” reports SF Gate
“The decision marked another instance when Christie staked out a moderate position on a hot-button social issue as he seeks a second term in a Democratic-leaning state. It also offers more evidence that the popular governor is positioning himself as a pragmatist who shuns more conservative elements within his party.
“Christie found middle ground on medical marijuana for children when he agreed Friday to allow growers to cultivate additional strains, and for marijuana to be made in an edible form for chronically ill children. Last week, Christie vetoed a bill banning .50-caliber rifles that was vigorously opposed by firearms rights advocates and gutted a proposed overhaul of the state’s gun permit law. Recently, he signed 10 less significant gun measures the Democrat-led Legislature passed after last year’s deadly school shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. Continue reading “Christie signs conversion therapy ban”
“The latest decision by the Boy Scouts of America, proposing to end its ban on gay scouts but not its ban on gay and lesbian scoutmasters and den mothers, is at once ridiculous and blatantly anti-gay,” writes Michaelangelo Signorile in today’s Huffington Post, continuing as excerpted below
“Sorry, but there’s just no middle ground on bigotry. The idea that you can end discrimination against some — and actually admit that it is discrimination — but not against others is truly breathless in its illogic. The BSA actually says in its new proposal that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” but that the organization “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.”
“So a boy can come out as gay, be a great scout and be accepted by the organization but not even think about being a scoutmaster as an adult? And how can a boy who comes out as gay, or is simply known to be gay because of his other associations and friendships, feel that he is not stigmatized by the BSA when the organization is still discriminating against gay adults? Continue reading “Signorile on the Scouts”
A group of Indiana-based parents, teens and even a teacher is fighting for a separate “traditional” prom that would ban gay students, reports today’s Huffington Post.
“Special education teacher Diana Medley is defending a group of Sullivan High School students who are arguing in favor of the alternate prom.
‘Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don’t agree with them, but I care about them,’ Medley told the news station. ‘It’s the same thing with my special needs kids; I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason.’
“When asked whether or not gay people have a ‘purpose’ in life, Medley added, ‘No, I honestly don’t. Sorry, but I don’t … A gay person isn’t going to come up and make some change unless it’s to realize that it was a choice and they’re choosing God.’
“Medley was just one of several parents, students and others who reportedly met Feb. 10 at the Sullivan First Christian Church demanding that gay students be barred from attending the dance. ‘We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,’ one local student is quoted as saying. Continue reading “The new segregation”
Just days after a Maryland-based Cub Scout pack was forced to back down on a non-discriminatory pledge because of a reference to sexual orientation, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) might be changing its national stance toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, reports todays Huffington Post “NBC cites a number of ‘scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions’ who say a revised BSA policy would not only lift the ban on gay participants from the national youth organization’s rules, but also allow local sponsoring organizations to decide for themselves whether or not to admit gay scouts.
“‘The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,’ BSA Director of Public Relations Deron Smith tells the site, adding that individual sponsors and parents ‘would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families.’ Continue reading “Boy Scouts consider lifting ban”
“Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday,” reports the New York Times.
“The groundbreaking decision overturns a 1994 Pentagon rule that restricts women from artillery, armor, infantry and other such combat roles, even though in reality women have frequently found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, where more than 20,000 have served. As of last year, more than 800 women had been wounded in the two wars and more than 130 had died.
“Defense officials offered few details about Mr. Panetta’s decision but described it as the beginning of a process to allow the branches of the military to put the change into effect. Defense officials said Mr. Panetta had made the decision on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Continue reading “Women to serve in combat”