Per the Connecticut Post:
New Jersey’s law banning so-called gay conversion therapy is facing another court challenge, this time from a couple who claim their constitutional rights are being violated because the law prevents them from seeking treatment for their 15-year-old son.
The suit filed in federal court in Camden on Friday is at least the second to attack the law. A separate suit that names two licensed therapists among its plaintiffs awaits a judge’s ruling, said Demetrios Stratis, an attorney involved in both cases.
The law signed by Gov. Chris Christie in August bars licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight. At the time he signed it, Christie said the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, as identified by the American Psychological Association, outweigh concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice, though he added that government “should tread carefully into this area.”
The unidentified New Jersey couple claim in their suit that the law violates their rights to free speech and freedom of religion, as well as their 14th Amendment right to equal protection, by “denying minors the opportunity to pursue a particular course of action that can help them address the conflicts between their religious and moral values and same-sex attractions, behaviors or identity.”
According to the lawsuit, the teen suffers from “unwanted gender identity disorder and unwanted same-sex attractions” and has contemplated suicide. It goes on to describe how he “began to think he would like himself much better if he was a girl” and attempted to display female mannerisms and expressions. He also began to develop feelings of same-sex attractions at age 12 or 13, and that his depression worsened to the point that he began to have thoughts of killing himself “nearly all day long, every single day.”
“John Doe has a sincerely held religious belief and conviction that homosexuality is wrong and immoral, and he wanted to address that value conflict because his unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion are contrary to the fundamental religious values that he holds,” the lawsuit contends.
The suit seeks a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being enforced plus “nominal damages” and attorneys’ fees. A federal judge is scheduled to decide by Dec. 2 whether to grant the injunction.
Gender dysphoria, that condition that leads to gender transitioning, is the conflict between one’s apparent physical gender and one’s internal gender identification. “Same-sex attractions” are just that, homosexual attraction to those of the same sex and gender as oneself. So, if this young person began life as a male, identifies as male, and is attracted to males, then he is a homosexual and the New Jersey law bans therapy to change that until he reaches his majority and can make a reasoned, adult choice. That does not mean that his parents cannot seek psychological counseling for him to deal with his depression and suicidal tendencies.
However, this young person who began life as a male, has gender dysphoria and hence identifies as female, and is attracted to males… that makes her, or will post-transition, a straight female. The law does not prohibit transitional therapy, which would be very concerned with determining if gender dysphoria truly exists, along with treating the depression.
One hopes that while the lawsuit goes forward these parents will get their child into therapy that will at least deal with the depression. A child should not be denied needed mental health assistance just so the ex-gay movement has a poster child. The horror is that he will be even more poignant if he successfully commits suicide.