New Jersey Gov. Christie takes the heat
By Brad Dacus
Pacific Justice Institute
Trenton, NJ — Gov. Chris Christie finalized his decision to sign a bill on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 outlawing therapy for minors seeking professional help for unwanted same-sex-attractions.
“Gov. Christie is no friend of free speech,” said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) in response to the governor’s decision.
PJI filed the first of two lawsuits against a nearly identical bill in California. PJI obtained a preliminary injunction in December 2012, and the law is currently on hold because of the serious free speech and religious freedom restrictions it imposes.
Dacus also noted that in addition to free speech and religious freedom issues, one of the major flaws of this bill is that — like the California one — it is based on LGBT activist pressure and not scientific outcomes. “The question here isn’t if sexuality comes from birth or not; the question is ‘Should we allow the government to restrict religious and constitutional freedoms because a forceful LGBT lobby says we should?’ The answer to that question is a resounding ‘No!’”
This is not the first time that Gov. Christie has drawn the ire of religious freedom advocates. In 2011 PJI criticized Gov. Christie for siding with LGBT activists over free speech concerns. Gov. Christie suggested a teacher — Viki Knox — should be fired for posts on her personal Facebook page that were deemed unsupportive of LGBT history month.
Legal challenges to the new bill are likely. If the California litigation is any indication, it could be bottled up in court for months to come, delaying implementation.
Licensed counselors in New Jersey and parents who have minors detrimentally impacted by this new law should contact PJI immediately to discuss their possible participation as a plaintiff in litigation.
Brad Dacus is president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute providing defense for families and religious organizations when their constitutionally guaranteed freedom is threatened. Visit www.pji.org