SFGN File Photo

The United States Supreme Court has denied a petition to review New Jersey’s ban on youth conversion therapy.

On April 15, the nation’s high court declined to take up acase challenging New Jersey’s ban on the practice of conversion or reparative therapy on minors. The controversial form of therapy has been prohibited in New Jersey since 2013. 

Former Gov. Chris Christie signed the law, pointing to reports from the American Psychological Association that revealed the practice “can pose critical health risks, including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdraw, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”

Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation. Sixteen states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have banned the practice on minors.

“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ inflicts harm on minors and has been debunked by every mainstream medical and mental health association,” said Equality Florida public policy director Jon Harris Maurer. “We’re proud to support the 20 local bans on conversion therapy enacted around the state.”

The Liberty Counsel, a Christian organization headquartered in Orange County, is challenging bans on conversion therapy in Palm Beach County, Boca Raton and Tampa. TheBroward County ban, Harris Maurer said, is not being challenged.

In January,David Matheson, a conversion therapist in Utah, came out as gay. Matheson, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he “can no longer live without an intimate relationship with another man.” Harris Maurer said cases like Matheson’s are “not an uncommon event.”