Opponents of so-called “conversation therapy” are celebrating this week as the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to New Jersey’s ban on the practice.
In 2013 New Jersey became the second state to ban the practice, which seeks to “cure” people of being lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, from use on minors. Sixteen states — plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico — now ban the practice for those under 18.
“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 Christian Fuscarino, executive director of LGBTQ advocacy group Garden State Equality, in a statement Tuesday.
“It’s alarming that this bigotry-driven and legally-hollow case even got to the Justices for consideration,” Fuscarino said. “And this is a stark reminder that the rights of LGBTQ people— even here in New Jersey —are constantly under attack.”
Though recent polling shows overwhelming bi-partisan support for such a ban in North Carolina, a recently filed bill isn’t getting much traction with the GOP majority in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Bans on the therapy seem to have momentum in the country right now. Discussion of its harmful effects — once relatively taboo — has gone mainstream.
On Wednesday night LGBTQ advocacy group Equality NC is putting on a conversation with Garrard Conley, author of the best-selling “Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith and Family” and Sam Brinton, Head of Advocacy for the Trevor Project.
Conley’s 2016 memoir of surviving conversion therapy was adapted for the big screen last year. The film, directed by Joel Edgerton, stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. It was nominated for two Golden Globe awards.