Teen Urges Gov. Christie To Ban Gay “Conversion” Therapy After Video Goes Viral
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 03:52 PM EST
An LGBT teen from New Jersey has launched a new petition on Change.org urging Governor Chris Christie to support pending legislation that would ban the use of controversial gay “conversion” therapy on minors, a practice that attempts to change the sexual orientation of children and that has been repudiated by groups like the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.
• More than 27,000 join new petition on Change.org, calling on Gov. Chris Christie to back pending legislation banning the use of controversial gay “conversion” therapy on minors, a practice that attempts that attempts to 'cure' the sexual orientation of LGBT children;
• Petition launched by Jacob Rudolph, a New Jersey teen whose coming out speech at a school assembly has been watched more than 1.7 million times on YouTube
Jacob Rudolph, an 18-year-old senior at Parsippany High School in Parsippany, NJ, launched his petition on Change.org after recently coming out as LGBT at a school assembly. A video of Jacob’s coming out speech, posted on YouTube by his father, has been viewed more than 1.7 million times.
“Every single day, kids across the state are forced to lie or feel shame about who they really are for fear of being rejected by their families and friends, or worse, being forced to undergo harmful 'therapy' intended to fix what is not broken,” said New Jersey teen Jacob Rudolph, who launched the campaign on Change.org. “I'm incredibly lucky to have parents who love me just the way I am. I hope Governor Christie agrees with my parents, and the more than 27,000 people who have signed my petition, that all New Jersey kids deserve to be loved and protected.”
New signatures on Jacob’s petition are sent via email to Governor Chris Christie, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, and Gov. Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak. Christie has yet to comment on whether or not he will support New Jersey Senate Bill S2278, which has been co-sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney.
In his petition, Jacob says that most major psychological, psychiatric, and counseling associations have found gay “conversion” therapy to be scientifically unsound and harmful for young people. The American Psychiatric Association has concluded that people subjected to anti-gay "conversion" therapy are at a much greater risk for depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior. His petition also cites statistics from the CDC and The Trevor Project stating that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. That number doubles to 8 times more likely if LGB youth come from families that reject the child's sexual orientation.
“By supporting this bill, Gov. Christie has an opportunity not just to protect kids from the emotional damage of dangerous anti-gay conversion therapy, but to save lives as well,” added Jacob.
“More than a million people have watched Jacob's brave coming out story on YouTube, and now Jacob is hoping to turn that support into action that benefits LGBT kids all throughout his state,” said Mark Anthony Dingbaum, senior campaign manager at Change.org. “More than 27,000 people have already joined Jacob’s Change.org campaign, clearly inspired by this young man’s courage and conviction.”
Live signature totals from Jacob Rudolph’s campaign: