On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge against New Jersey’s ban on gay and transgender conversion therapy for minors.
According to Garden State Equality, who is named as a respondent in the suit, the decision to deny a hearing guarantees the state law will remain in effect, as will 15 additional and similar laws from other states around the country, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
David Flugman of Selendy & Gay led the legal effort on behalf of Garden State Equality with support from GluckWalrath, and Thomas Prol, a GSE board member. The challenge was brought by Liberty Counsel, based in Florida, which according to GSE has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
New Jersey became the second state in the country to pass such a ban when the law was signed in August 2013 by then-Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican. GSE said the measure passed both houses of the state Legislature with a veto-proof supermajority.
“In rejecting this case today, the Supreme Court recognized what every sensible and compassionate person across New Jersey and this country knows: anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy is dangerous, discredited malpractice. It is nothing short of child abuse, and there is no legal argument to defend this horrible practice,” said Garden State Equality Executive Director Christian Fuscarino in a prepared statement.
According to GSE, similar legislation is pending in 18 additional states.
In addition to the American Psychological Association, other major professional medical and mental health organizations have rejected conversion therapy as “ineffective, unethical and dangerous,” GSE said, including the World Psychiatric Association, National Association of Social Workers, American School Health Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, and others.
Wit headquarters in Asbury Park, Garden State Equality is a statewide advocacy and educational organization for the LGBT community.