Protecting gay youths from adult quacks

Cult rocker Michelle Shocked notwithstanding, few people credibly claim to have shifted their sexual orientation from gay to straight.

But even if one accepts the personal testimony of a washed-up '80s singer, or others who insist they have prayed their gay away, homo-to-hetero "reparative" therapy has long been dismissed as fatuous, futile, or even harmful.

And a tactical shift among some proponents of such alchemy -- toward helping "victims" escape their unwanted same-sex attractions -- hasn't nudged up the negligible rates of efficacy.

Not for nothing has an "ex-ex-gay" movement sprung up among people who underwent such (potentially expensive) treatment, only to emerge as...themselves.

So it's good news that New Jersey's proposed ban on "reparative" counseling programs for minors is moving ahead in the state Senate, where a committee approved the measure Monday.

Adults who want to pursue specious notions and magic potions are certainly free to do so.

But children deserve protection from quackery.