TRENTON - A bill that would ban the practice of "gay conversion" on anyone under the age of 18 has drawn opposition at the State House.
Supporters of the controversial treatment, which aims to turn gay people straight, held a press conference in Trenton Monday to send a message to lawmakers considering the bill.
Referring to the bill as the "Jerry Sandusky victimization act,” the activists cited a research study that found that same-sex urges often stem from childhood sexual abuse.
Advocates believe that banning the therapy would protect sexual predators like convicted sex offender and former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
"The parents of sexually abused children deserve the right to choose which licensed mental health care provider they seek treatment from,” said psychotherapist Christopher Doyle.
Speakers at the press conference included three people who say they used the therapy to turn from gay to straight.
Gay rights groups support the ban for treatment of children. They believe the bill protects minors who are not given the opportunity to choose whether to be treated.
Opponents of the bill are asking that it be sent back to the State House for another hearing.
For extended footage from the news conference, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.