March 20, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
N.J. lawmakers back ‘conversion therapy’ ban

TRENTON, N.J—A New Jersey Senate committee on Monday approved a bill that would ban so-called anti-gay “conversion therapy.”

The 7-1 vote in the Senate Health Committee came after LGBT advocates testified in support of it — Garden State Equality Executive Director Troy Stevenson wrote on his organization’s website that a friend from his hometown in Oklahoma had been sent to a “conversion” camp by his parents after members of a high school football team caught them kissing.

Stevenson’s friend took his life the day after they last spoke.

“He described things that I couldn’t imagine, indignities that I won’t repeat,” Stevenson wrote. “He said, “I will never go back.”

The full Senate will now consider the measure.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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