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New Jersey Senate Passes Ban On 'Conversion Therapy' For Gay Youth

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The New Jersey state Senate has passed a bill to ban licensed therapists from trying to convert gay minors into heterosexuals.

It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie for consideration. Christie has declined to answer questions about whether he will sign the measure.

Supporters of the ban said that it's damaging to young people and wrong to think that homosexuality is something that can or should be "cured.''

Opponents, mostly social conservatives, said the bill restricts what counselors can do and interferes with the rights of parents to do what they believe is best for their children.

The Senate passed the bill Thursday on a 28 to 9 vote. The Assembly had already adopted it.

The idea of what is sometimes called "conversion therapy" has increasingly drawn criticism.

Last November, four gay men sued a Jersey City group for fraud, saying its program included making them strip naked and attack effigies of their mothers with baseball bats.

Last year, California became the first state to ban the practice, but a judge halted implementation amid arguments about the law's constitutionality.

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