03/21/2013 03:28 pm ET

Barbara Buono: Chris Christie's Ambivalence On Gay Conversion Ban Is 'Disgusting'

New Jersey state Sen. Barbara Buono (D) had some harsh words for Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Thursday, calling the governor's ambivalence on legislation banning the practice known as gay conversion therapy "disgusting."

On Wednesday, Christie told reporters that he is undecided on the bill, which recently passed a committee in the state Senate.

"It's an outrageous practice and it has no place in New Jersey. That Governor Christie would dignify this shameful practice is disgusting," Buono said in a statement on Thursday. Buono is running against Christie in the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

The bill would ban professional counselors from conducting reparative therapy on patients under the age of 18. Christie said Wednesday he is "a skeptic" of bills limiting parents' rights to make decisions for their children, and he doesn't know much about conversion therapy in general. But Buono doesn't think that's an excuse.

"His intolerance has no place in our state," Buono added. "The governor said he doesn't know much about gay conversion therapy. But I don't know how much more you need to know."

According to CNN, Buono views Christie's indecisive stance as a way of appealing to Republicans on the national level.

Despite rejecting a bill to legalize same sex marriage in his state in February, Christie has been criticized by Republicans in the past for not being conservative enough.



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