07-24-2017  8:01 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Augustana Lutheran Church Hosts Summer in the City Aug. 6

Free event includes BBQ, book sale, children’s games, music ...

Health Officials Warn of Spike in Heroin Overdoses

Emergency providers urge use of nalaxone, which is available without a prescription ...

Students Reach New Heights

Two rising sophomores attend aviation camp in Vancouver, Wash. ...

Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways

This summer the eight-mile bike route takes place on July 23, from 11 a.m - 4 p.m. ...

APANO: Cultural Series Launches with Solidarity Film Screening

"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" screens on July 25 at North Portland Library ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Throw the Doors of Opportunity Wide Open for Our Youth

Congressional Black Caucus member Robin Kelly says it’s time to pass the “Today’s American Dream Act.” ...

Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Threaten Civil Rights

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending talks about the impact of President Trump’s budget on civil rights...

Nooses on National Mall Echo Domestic Terrorism

Lauren Victoria Burke reports on a series of domestic terrorist attacks across the U.S ...

White House Proposes $9.2 Billion Cut in Education Funding

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes about the rising costs of higher education ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

(CNN) -- New Jersey will become the second state to forbid gay conversion therapy for minors when Gov. Chris Christie signs legislation into law Monday banning the highly controversial practice, CNN has learned.

Gay conversion therapy is an effort championed by people who believe that you can change a person's sexual orientation through counseling. The American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association are just a handful of professional organizations that oppose this practice, saying it is harmful.

New Jersey's decision to outlaw gay conversion therapy will not only be looked upon as another major step in gay rights, but it will also be viewed through the prism of the 2016 race for the White House.

Christie, a centrist Republican, is considered a leading candidate for his party's presidential nomination, and his decision to outlaw the practice for children under the age of 18 is likely to be viewed negatively by some social conservatives.

In explaining his decision to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, Christie is expected to emphasize that while he is wary of the "government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children," on this particular issue he sided with the experts. The New Jersey senate passed the legislation in late July, but as with any legislation, it ultimately requires Christie's final approval.

"The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientations can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts," Christie will say in his signing statement, according to an advanced copy provided to CNN. "I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate."

A Catholic, Christie in the past has stated his opposition to gay conversion therapy and in a June 2011 interview on CNN said he did not think homosexuality is a sin.

"Well, my religion says it's a sin," Christie said on 'Piers Morgan Tonight.' "But for me, I don't. I've always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual. And so, I think if someone is born that way, it's very difficult to say then that that's a sin. But I understand that my church says that. But for me personally, I don' t look upon someone who is homosexual as a sinner."

California passed a similar law in 2012 outlawing gay conversion therapy for minors, but supporters of the practice charged that it infringed on their First Amendment rights, and it is being challenged in federal appeals court.

Last month, Exodus International, an organization dedicated to helping people change their sexual orientation from to gay to heterosexual, closed its doors and issued an apology for the hurt it has caused people.

Gay conversion therapy is the latest high-profile legislation that Christie has addressed in recent days, the others dealing with medical marijuana and his veto of a bill that would ban certain guns. Christie is seeking re-election in November and public polling shows that he should easily win a second term.

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