SCOTUS refuses to consider challenge to NJ’s ban on gay conversion therapy

David Madden
April 20, 2019 - 4:00 am
United States Supreme Court Building, Washington, DC

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MONTCLAIR, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- The highest court in the land has declined to look at an action that sought to overturn a New Jersey law that bans what’s commonly known as gay conversion therapy.

The prohibition took effect 6 years ago, but a group known as Liberty Counsel argued that the state law violated the free speech rights of therapists who contend the therapy works. The Supreme Court of the United States' decision not to consider the matter leaves the ban in place.

Garden State Equality is the state’s leading gay rights organization.

“The medical community has universally rejected conversion therapy as pseudo-science,” Executive Director Christian Fuscarino told KYW Newsradio. “It’s discredited. It’s a dangerous malpractice and so I’m not surprised the court didn’t take it up for a decision.”

However, given the political turmoil these days, Fuscarino cautions there could be future attempts to attack legal protections.

“We’ve seen LGBTQ people win critical freedoms over time. But those can be lost just as quickly as they were earned,” he added. “You can look no further than how civil rights have been stripped away just in the last two years.”

Bottom line, he suggests the Trump Administration’s bid to shift the justice system to the right is a continuing threat to minorities far and wide. And a differently constituted high court could come to a very different conclusion.