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Survivor speaks out after NJ bans so-called "gay conversion therapy"


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August 20, 2013

Matthew Shurka knows who he is and what his sexuality is.

But as a teenager, his father tried to convince him otherwise — that is, attempt to cure him of being a gay man in America.

“I was sixteen years old when I first started conversion therapy. I was told that there was scientific evidence, and that there is a psychological condition and you can change from being a homosexual male to a heterosexual male through therapy,” Shurka said. “He was not OK with me being gay. He thought it was the best thing to do in our society.”

Going for gay conversion therapy through a licensed therapist is now no longer an option for minors in New Jersey, where it was banned thanks to Governor Chris Christie, who signed a bill outlawing the controversial practice on Monday.

Media covering the so-called "ex-gay" movement are encouraged to check out GLAAD's resource "Unmasking So-Called Ex-Gay Activists" to ensure fair and accurate coverage.