I'm not a resident of New Jersey, so I'm not allowed to submit via the submission form. Here's what I'd tell Governor Christie though:
I strongly recommend you veto A3371.
First though, I suggest you hear directly from those who dispute the need for the law. Invite the national leaders in Reparative Therapy, Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, and the like, to meet with you to answer all your questions.
Be absolutely sure that you know whether homosexual attraction is inborn and/or environmentally caused, such as by, among other causes, sexual abuse. Be sure you wouldn't be leaving sexually abuse children hanging with help for their unwanted same-sex attraction being illegal. What a confusing, further-damaging nightmare that would be for those children.
Ask NARTH (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality) to supply you with peer-reviewed scientific studies in support of their position. Ask them to directly answer their opposition (those who brought forth the legislation).
You should also wait for the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has this very issue before it concerning very similar legislation signed into law in California by Governor Jerry Brown.
It is my understanding that the New Jersey version (unlike that for California) specifically intends to block "unlicensed" counselors. That would necessarily include many religious counselors. Would you be prepared to tell a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or other clergy member that he or she would be breaking the law by telling/counseling congregation members that homosexuality is against the given religion and is also something that can be, and has been, overcome? If so, you'd be opening your state up to claims of violating the US Bill of Rights, namely the free-exercise clause.
Now, if you were to sign the bill and parents were to violate it, would you be prepared to take away those parents' children? No doubt some of those children would also be targeted for placement in foster homes headed up by open homosexuals. What kind of violent civil war might such actions potentiate? I'd be very concerned that you'd be opening the door wide open to what could rightly be characterized as homosexual fascism and worse. How many people might take up arms against such undemocratic, illiberal forces?
Do the right thing and hear out both sides. Read and study the court documents concerning the California case regarding CA SB-1172. I have. I can assure you that those documents contain excellently reasoned and supported, compelling, reasons why the State of California was enjoined from enforcing the law pending the Courts final ruling.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this pivotal moment for your state and the, frankly, nation.
Again, New Jersey residents, tell Christie to veto fascistic A3371/S2278 (outlawing counseling homosexually abused minors to overcome resultant unwanted same-sex attraction). Here's the link: Action Center.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)