On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined a small but effective group of lawmakers by signing legislation into law that bans all types of therapies that seek to “reduce or eliminate homosexual feelings” for minors. Christie joined his own legislature and New Jersey became the second state to ensure that children who are sexually abused by adults and teenagers will be permanently damaged by molesters and pedophiles in their respective states.
The new law in New Jersey is virtually the same language as that of California’s, of which the constitutionality is still being decided by the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. As justification for the ban, Christie stated there was not enough evidence to support the use of Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy to veto the law put forth by the partisan legislature.
He said this, despite a number of facts that have either been distorted or not reported.
Fact #1: The American Psychological Association (APA) stated in it’s 2009 Task Force Report on SOCE (pp. 82-83) that there is insufficient evidence that it is effective or ineffective and that there is no proof the intervention is harmful.
Fact#2: Christie said that be believes people are born with a homosexual predisposition, despite the scientific studies and countless testimonies that indicate homosexual feelings are not inborn and therefore changeable.
Fact #3: Despite the many letters written by therapists and clients alike who gave testimony of the significant and authentic change in homosexual feelings they have witnessed, Christie signed the law even though there is not one documented case filed with the New Jersey board that governs therapist’s licensure that complains about any child or adult undergoing the “horrors” of these kinds of therapies that’s been repeated over and over by gay activists.
Fact #4: The governor failed to challenge the false allegations of activists who said they were tortured by SOCE at “conversion therapy camps” but were unable to provide any evidence to support such claims. Most notably was Transgender Brielle Goldani’s fabrications of being sent the fictitious “True Directions” camp, that we now know only exists in the Hollywood production starring Drag Queen RuPaul, and the half-dozen additional “conversion therapy” camps Troy Stevenson of Garden State Equality said existed in Ohio and Oklahoma. Stevenson promised to provide the names of these camps, but failed to deliver after repeated requests.
Fact #5: Christie said he had to side with the “experts” on this issue, yet, these so-called “experts” could not produce one scientific study documenting that SOCE is ineffective or harmful for adolescents, despite their claims. Christie had to have known that the outcomes of adolescents undergoing SOCE have not been studied, and therefore, any decision to promote or reject such an intervention would be premature. In the case where solid evidence is lacking, the responsible action is to refrain from making any judgement until the science can be produced.
In short, Christie said these things because he is either grossly politically motivated, or completely ignorant of sound evidence. Either way, is this the type of man who New Jersey wants as a governor? Is this the type of man who America wants in the office of President of the United States?
No doubt, the appropriate lawsuits will follow any day now. In the meantime, take some time to think about the child who, God forbid, becomes sexually abused by a same-sex predator and who develops homosexual feelings resulting from this. God help your child if you ever live in New Jersey or California. You won’t get any help from their governors or legislatures. What you will get is propaganda from gay-affirming therapists who are more than happy to follow the law and refuse to help your child reduce or eliminate their homosexual feelings.
If you’re interested, see the letter I faxed to Governor Christie some time ago. Ah, but maybe it doesn’t matter? After all, it’s only about children, not about politics.
David H. Pickup, M.A., LMFT, is the Vice-President of Voice of the Voiceless and holds a masters degree in psychology. He is licensed in California and Texas as a Marriage and Family Therapist. He is pursuing his doctorate in psychology at California Southern University in Los Angeles. Note: Portions of this article were contributed by Christopher Doyle, President and Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless. For more information, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info
Honorable Governor Christie,
I am writing you to urge you to veto A3371. As a psychotherapist who is licensed in California And Texas, I would like to draw your attention to how destructive this bill will be to certain groups of children if you do not exorcise your power of veto. I am going to give you scientific and anecdotal evidence, which I believe will show you how insidiously destructive this bill will be to certain minors and their parents. I will also show you the grave intolerant political agenda that is behind this bill.
I am also writing you because I was a child who experienced sexual abuse by a young man when I was 5 years old. I know the horrific experiences of this first hand. Only one of the abuses that I experienced was the rise of homosexual feelings as a result of what this man did to me. I was born a heterosexual, so when I reached puberty around 13, I was severely repressed and confused concerning these issues. I didn’t have a therapist to help me deal with these homosexual feelings. My sense of masculinity was severely shamed and underdeveloped. I suffered greatly for many years. Later in life I experienced the transformative power of authentic Reparative Therapy. I am now a Reparative Therapist who is helping children and adults from all over the country. See www.davidpickuplmft.com. I have an MA in psychology, and I am obtaining my doctorate at California Southern University. I have been a Reparative Therapist for 7 years. I was trained under the direction of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the creator of Reparative Therapy. After you read the evidence against A3371, I will tell you of specifically how Reparative Therapy helped me and how this kind of therapy is of extraordinary benefit to minors. I do realize this letter is lengthy. However, if you desire to truly look at the evidence, I believe it will be well worth your attention. By the way, every detail of the harmful things this bill calls SOCE is certainly not authentic Reparative Therapy.
Before I give you the evidence, I’d like to tell you that this letter is not being sent to demean, discriminate against, or mistreat Gay persons. It might surprise you to know that I have Gay minor clients, and I do not coerce them or treat them in any other way but with unconditional positive regard. They know what I do, and they trust me as we work on other issues besides sexuality.
(Next were many pages of reference scientific and anecdotal evidence.)
Governor Christie, with all due respect, you and the New Jersey state legislature will become unintentionally complicit in the furtherance of sexual abuse of children if these minors can not receive sound, science-based, effective therapy for unwanted homosexual feelings that have arisen because of their same-sex sexual abuse. Can you imagine a wonderful little boy or adolescent coming into my therapy office in tears while telling me he’s hurt and confused because of the homosexual feelings he’s feeling because of his sexual abuse, and that all I can tell him is, “I can’t help you reduce or eliminate your homosexual feelings because it’s against the law, and you’ll just have to try your best in life.” Can you imagine?
SOCE therapists are on record acknowledging that there have been some incidents of coercive incidents in therapy sessions, and individual cases of harm done happen in the world in any form of therapy for any issue. However, since no one can be privy to everything that happens in all sessions, banning SOCE as a whole would actually be harmful to minor clients and their parents. I would highly recommend instead that before a bill be proposed or signed into law that further study be done first to represent sound, effective research in order to develop more specific controls. I believe the state owes this to minor clients and their parents who truly benefit by sound therapy and SOCE.
Additionally, the harmful coercive therapies the bills mention are interventions that were practiced 40-100 years ago. They are no longer used because they are indeed ineffective or outright harmful, and no therapist I know of would ever use this in today’s world. If there are abuses of any kind now, they should be handled on a case-by-case basis, not by banning therapy that truly works for minors. In fact, licensing boards are already fully prepared to do just this since their ethics codes and related laws for this are already in place.
In my opinion, based on my years of experience, there will be no question that if you let this bill pass into law by trying to help one group of children, another group of children will be irreparably harmed if they are not allowed the kind of SOCE that helps this particular population.
I can tell you first hand that I greatly benefited from authentic Reparative Therapy and so have my clients, some of whom are minors. I’ve been using the term “authentic” because there is clearly a difference between the real thing and the many forms of other therapies that do not work, and/or are facilitated by shaming and coercive therapists as individuals. Reparative Therapy (created by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi) truly accomplishes the following:
It eliminates any and all shame for having homosexual feelings no matter how they arose. It allows boys and men to experience a decrease in depression and anxiety. It allows them to grow into great self-confidence in their own genders. It raises self-esteem. It demonstrates how boys and men can get their emotional need for affirmation, approval and affection from other males; needs that they simply didn’t experience in their early lives. And…this results in a spontaneous, automatic lessening or dissipation of their homosexual feelings. In short, they maximize their heterosexual potential. Please look at www.voices-of-change.org for testimonials of authentic, therapeutic change that the media, the APA and Gay therapists are trying to keep from you at all costs. The political agenda of these persons and associations is to force all of America into only one view of homosexuality for all people. This is not really about helping children, especially when you consider there has not been one ethical complaint taken before any licensing board in the past few decades about Reparative Therapy. I’m sure there have been individual incidents of wrongdoing. However, this is a problem that is not germane to Reparative Therapy per se. Why now are people coming forward? Because this is actually about a political agenda.
Thank you for your consideration. I would be honored to answer any questions you may have about these issues. I hope that you and your assistants will read this evidence with an open mind, and at least consider both sides of this historic issue. Professionals, children, parents, legislatures and politicians are certainly aware of the historical significance of bill A3371. I humbly ask you to please regard your own legacy in history when making your decision regarding this bill.
David H. Pickup, M.A., LMFT