New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will sign a bill on Monday barring "gay conversion" therapy against minors, saying the health risks outweighed parental worries, the Associated Press reported.
"Government should tread carefully into this area, and I do so here reluctantly," Christie reportedly said in a signing note accompanying the bill. The AP reported that the note will be made public after Christie signs it into law. "However, I also believe that on the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards."
The bill, which passed in both the state Senate and General Assembly with bipartisan support, makes New Jersey the second state to ban the practice, citing research by the American Psychiatric Association linking it to depression and self-destructive behavior.
Christie also said in the note that he does not believe homosexuality to be a sin and believes people are born gay. His administration filed a brief in July 2013 to the state Supreme Court supporting a law granting same-sex couples the right to enter into civil unions, but not marriages, arguing that keeping matrimony between heterosexual couples preserves the definition of the term.
[Image via ABC News]
[Editor's note: This story was corrected to accurately reflect Christie's comments in his signing note concerning homosexuality.]