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Supreme Court won’t hear conversion therapy suit

Lawsuit sought to overturn ban

By Nikita Biryukov, April 15 2019 4:18 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a lawsuit filed by a Florida-based religious group that sought to overturn the state’s ban on conversion therapy for minors Monday.

“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,” Garden State Equality executive director Christian Fuscarino said. “It is nothing short of child abuse, and there is no legal argument to defend this horrible practice.”

Former Gov. Chris Christie signed the ban into law in 2013 after both chambers of the legislature passed the measure with veto-proof majorities.

Liberty Counsel filed a suit challenging the ban on the practice, which aims to turn LGBTQ individuals straight, in 2013.

That suit was dismissed, and its appeals languished for several years until a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidating a California law that required pregnancy-related clinics inform clients about family planning services, including abortion, opened the way.

The practice of conversion therapy has been deemed unethical by the American Psychiatric Association and is unsupported by scientific evidence.

“It’s alarming that this bigotry-driven and legally-hollow case even got to the Justices for consideration, and this is a stark reminder that the rights of LGBTQ people — even here in New Jersey — are constantly under attack,” Fuscarino said.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article erroneously said the New Jersey Supreme Court tossed the suit.

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