Chris Christie "does not believe" in gay conversion therapy, says spokesman


A day after the governor appeared to equivocate on the issue, a spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., told the Newark Star-Ledger that he does not endorse a controversial practice known as "gay conversion therapy," which attempts to "convert" gay individuals to a straight lifestyle.

The spokesman did not indicate whether the governor's stated opposition to the practice would compel him to sign a bill, currently working its way through the New Jersey legislature, that would ban it.

"Governor Christie does not believe in gay conversion therapy," said spokesman Kevin Roberts in a statement obtained by the Star-Ledger. "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."

Just yesterday, when the governor was asked whether he would sign the a bill banning gay conversion therapy, he seemed torn: "I'm of two minds just on this stuff in general," he said, according to the Star-Ledger. "Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children."

"On bills that restrict parents' ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, I'm generally a skeptic of those bills," he added. "Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules, and this bill may be one of them."

His waffling drew a heated condemnation from State Sen. Barbara Buono, Christie's likely Democratic opponent in his upcoming 2013 reelection race.

"I couldn't believe the stunning level of ignorance" Christie's comments showed, she said, according to the Star-Ledger. "Gay children don't need to be cured," she added, calling conversion therapy "nothing short of child abuse" and a "cruel and damaging practice of trying to shame children into being someone they're not."