NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - New Jersey was poised on Monday to become the second U.S. state to prevent licensed therapists from counseling gay and lesbian youths to change their sexual orientation.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie was expected to sign the measure into law, after the state Senate passed the bill in June, according to his office and proponents of the legislation.
Citing medical and psychiatric research that sexual orientation is determined at birth, the bill would ban state-licensed counselors, therapists and social workers from practicing a method of talk therapy that opponents have said is deeply damaging to the self esteem and identity of gay youths.
New Jersey would become the second state after California to outlaw conversion therapy for people under the age of 18.
Conversion therapy has become increasingly controversial, and last month the California-based Exodus International, a Christian group championing it, apologized for the harm it caused and said it was shutting its doors after 38 years.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Alden Bentley)