As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, a so-called “family values” hate group is taking Garden State Equality to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge New Jersey’s ban on gay and trans conversion therapy, which we passed in 2013.
Liberty Counsel—designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—has an army of three hundred volunteer lawyers across the country, and they’ve been attacking LGBTQ people relentlessly since they formed in 1989. Now, they have their sights set on New Jersey. This is the same group that proudly declares that "homosexuality is wrong and unnatural" while trying to hide their hate behind the guise of "religious liberty.”
Believe me, this is going to be a tough fight. I was the first openly gay state bar president in New Jersey history. I am admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, and I’ve submitted briefs and stood before the Court. Above all else, I’m most proud for pushing litigation in the historic Garden State Equality v. Dow case, which delivered marriage equality to New Jersey.
Alongside me, we’ve assembled a strike team of prominent lawyers to repel this attack on our community. David Flugman of Selendy & Gay and Michael Gluck of GluckWalrath are leading the litigation at the Supreme Court for Garden State Equality, and I am joined by my fellow board member Robyn Gigl in coordinating a rapid legal response.
We need to mount the best fight possible here. We simply cannot leave anything up to chance.
If the Supreme Court decides to hear this case, statewide bans on conversion therapy could be repealed across the country—endangering hundreds of thousands of children. It would be a disaster for the LGBTQ community.
The current administration is rolling back rights across the board, and Liberty Counsel is emboldened. Make no mistake, Garden State Equality is rising to fight this attack head-on.
Conversion therapy is child abuse, plain and simple. It inflicts a grievous harm on LGBTQ kids and young adults. It has a dangerous and destructive effect on their minds and hearts. The medical community has resoundingly rejected conversion therapy, with the American Psychiatric Association on record for over two decades opposing it, going so far as to say it causes "a significant risk of harm" and "undermines self-esteem.”
The science is clear, yet a few outliers insist on fighting for a constitutional right to irreparably abuse children and young adults.
I'm heading back to work now. Thanks for reading—and for everything you do to protect equality.
Thomas H. Prol, Esq.
Garden State Equality