Blog & Events

Gov. Christie Signs Law Protecting New Jersey’s Youth from Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

August 19, 2013

Garden State becomes 2nd in nation to adopt this youth mental health law

New York, NY (August 19, 2013) – Today, Gov. Chris Christie signed a law making New Jersey the second state protect minors from dangerous and discredited sexual orientation change efforts. The law, which passed both houses with bipartisan support, was supported by The Trevor Project, the nation’s leading provider of crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and questioning youth. A similar law has been enacted in California and introduced in New York, Massachusetts and in Pennsylvania.

This important law regulates state licensed mental health providers, encouraging therapies that provide acceptance and support, that facilitate coping and identity exploration, or that address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices while limiting dangerous and harmful sexual orientation change efforts.

“This has been an important month for promoting the health and well-being of LGBT youth in the United States,” said Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project, referring to this law in New Jersey, and a law in California allowing transgender students to attend school and participate in activities that match their true gender.

Land continued, “The Trevor Project applauds Gov. Christie, New Jersey Senators and Assembly Members for their bipartisan support of a law to protect minors from dangerous and discredited sexual orientation change efforts. We also cheer Gov. Jerry Brown and the members of the California State Assembly and State Senate for their support of transgender students, who deserve the opportunity for scholastic and athletic achievements as their true and whole selves.”

New Jersey’s new law, which was also supported by Garden State Equality, recognizes that vulnerable young LGBT people are sometimes coerced into and subjected to harmful practices, known as “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy.” These sexual orientation change efforts result in a range of negative outcomes including depression, substance abuse and suicidality. Such efforts are not condoned by any major medical organization. By joining California as the second state to prohibit these dangerous and discredited practices, New Jersey emphasizes that the Garden State welcomes LGBT diversity and protects its youth.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT and questioning young people ages 13-24. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free and confidential phone, instant message and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.