Parsippany teen and viral video star Jacob Rudolph will be traveling to Trenton on Thursday to support proposed legislation that would ban gay conversion therapy on minors.
During a senior award acceptance speech at Parsippany High School in January 2013, Rudolph came out in front of his classmates, sparking a video that received more than 1.7 million views on YouTube.
The teen later launched a petition on Change.org urging Gov. Christie to support pending legislation in Trenton that would ban the use of controversial gay “conversion” therapy on minors.
This controversial practice is employed by some churches and conservative Christian groups in hopes of changing sexual orientation—despite the fact that so-called "ex-gay" therapies have been repudiated repeatedly by groups including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Pediatric Association and the American Medical Association.
After receiving 115,000 signatures, Rudolph is ready to testify before the New Jersey Assembly Committee on Women and Children in support of the legislation.
“Shortly after testifying before the New Jersey Senate in March, Gov. Christie responded to my Change.org petition, saying that he doesn’t believe in conversion therapy either,” Rudolph said. “But stating your beliefs and taking action are two very different things, and I’m thrilled to once again travel to Trenton to speak on behalf of the 115,000 voices urging Gov. Chris Christie to protect New Jersey kids.
“Now’s our chance to finally end gay conversion therapy on minors,” added Rudolph.
Christie has yet to say whether he’ll support the pending legislation to ban gay conversion therapy on minors.