This week supporters received two emails from Senator Barbara Buono’s gubernatorial campaign in support of the bill to ban conversion therapy in New Jersey. Within hours of the second email landing in their inbox, a report by the Star Ledger said that Christie opposes conversion therapy. The statement did not indicate whether or not the Governor would sign the bill.
“Governor Christie does not believe in conversion therapy,” spokesman Kevin Roberts said in a statement on Thursday. “There is no mistaking his point of view on this when you look at his own prior statements where he makes clear that people’s sexual orientation is determined at birth.”
It was a rare turn around for a Governor who usually stands his ground in the face of opposition. Christie voiced his opposition to marriage equality even before he reached the state house. In 2009 he said that he would veto a bill if it came to his desk, which he did in January 2012.
With an election coming in November, Christie is likely trying to soften his image with New Jersey’s LGBT community.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Christie said, “I’m of two minds just on this stuff in general. Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children.
“Generally, philosophically, 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.”
This statement led Buono to send the two emails in which she called the Governor’s views “disgusting,” saying “I couldn’t believe the stunning level of ignorance that that statement showed.”
So far, California is the only state that has outlawed gay conversion therapy, but a federal appeals court has put the implementation of the ban on hold.