GSE, with Court Victory, Continues Protecting LGBT Youth From Harmful Conversion Therapy

Published: August 1, 2014

Trenton, NJ – A federal judge has dismissed a challenge to New Jersey’s 2013 law protecting LGBT youth from the harmful practice of conversion therapy, the dangerous and discredited practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. A teen and his family claimed the legislation infringed upon their First Amendment rights. Garden State Equality (GSE) was the main organizational sponsor of the bill, alongside National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). GSE, represented by Gluck Walrath, LLP, Kirkland Ellis, LLP, and NCLR, and alongside the Office of the NJ Attorney General, has intervened on behalf of the State of NJ to help protect the law. 

This case, John Doe v. Christie, was the second challenge since the law took effect in 2013. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson ruled on GSE’s behalf.
The bill, whose prime sponsor was Assemblyman Tim Eustace, passed both houses of the New Jersey legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie in August 2013. Currently, only New Jersey and California have passed legislation banning conversion therapy of minors. Several other states have modeled similar legislation and are pending.
“The practice of conversion therapy on minors is a harmful practice that has no place in the state of New Jersey. We applaud the ruling of U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson today and will continue to help defend the law,” said Andy Bowen, Executive Director of Garden State Equality.
In November 2013, Judge Freda Wolfson dismissed a challenge to the conversion therapy law by two licensed therapists. That case, King v. Christie, is pending appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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