A conservative New Jersey Republican is under fire after making comments about a woman who says she was raped by a fellow patient and that she believes her attacker was a doctor.
A message left at the offices of the New Jersey State Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday afternoon did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
In a video posted to YouTube earlier this month, Republican gubernatorial candidate for state Sen. Michael Morelle said the state needs to talk more about “gender and sexuality” and that he would have sex with women, according to the Washington Post.
“We need the help of psychiatrists, psychologists, and other specialists,” Morelles response reads.
“If we’re going to have a dialogue about gender, we need to have the help from people who are trained to do that work, who are equipped to help people understand that there are things that are going on, things that aren’t normal and things that shouldn’t be happening, and that can lead to healing.”
He continued, “If I’m going to be able to do this work, I’m not going to tolerate someone who can’t get their hands on that kind of information.”
Morelle’s comments drew swift criticism from mental health advocates and his Republican challenger, state Sen, Michael Morels.
The statement came after the New York Times reported that a woman had accused Republican state Sen and gubernatorial candidate Michael Morell of raping her in 2011.
Morelles campaign manager, Jonathan Miller, released a statement on Tuesday that read, “Dr. Morelley’s statement is wrong, wrong on so many levels.
He has a doctorate in psychotherapy, he has trained in the field, and he has spent years advocating for mental health care.
He should be commended for speaking honestly about his personal experiences and his opinions.”
In a state where rape is not only an epidemic, but an epidemic among women, it is deeply troubling to hear him say something like that, and it is even more troubling to know that he is still a practicing physician.
“The statement also pointed out that in his 2010 autobiography, Morelleys autobiography, he wrote that he was a practicing psychiatrist.
In the video, Morels remarks are accompanied by images of a doctor holding a handout, which includes a poster titled “I want you to know this: We Need to Talk About Gender and Sexuality.”
In the poster, the doctor urges that people “focus on what is happening in the mind of the patient” and encourages people to “talk about it in a healthy and respectful way.”
The doctor also urges people to be aware that the diagnosis of a sexual assault can change, and the person should seek help and be supported in this process.
In his campaign video, Miller also said that the woman in the video “did not understand” why she had been raped, and she was only “trying to help someone else.”
In a second video posted on Tuesday, Miller said, “I do not believe she has been assaulted.
She has never been sexually assaulted.
I don’t believe she is a perpetrator of this crime.
I am not going there.
I’m just trying to make a point.””
And I’m also trying to help the public understand this is not something you can simply dismiss.””
I’m just doing what I know how to do.
And I’m also trying to help the public understand this is not something you can simply dismiss.”
The campaign also released a third video, which reads, “He needs to step down.
If he does not, we are not going anywhere.”
Morels spokesman, Eric Schmitt, told the Post that Morels has “no intention of changing his position on any of the issues that have been raised.”
“We think that there is a great deal of public concern and concern about the state of mental health in New Jersey, and we would love to have that conversation,” Schmitt said.
But the state’s mental health commission told the New Times on Monday that the state would not be taking any action against Morells.
“I have no knowledge of anything like this happening anywhere else,” said Dr. Robert J. Tisch, the commission’s executive director.
“The fact that we are talking about this and not taking action against Mr. Morell is a reflection of the level of concern and interest in this matter,” Tisch said.
“It is the commission, in my opinion, that’s in charge of dealing with this issue, and I think that it would be wrong to have me interfere with it.”