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Attorney: Appeal planned over dismissal of N.J. conversion therapy case

Attorney: Appeal planned over dismissal of N.J. conversion therapy case

NEWARK, N.J. — An attorney for a New Jersey couple says he’ll appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged the state’s ban on gay conversion therapy.

The ruling filed Thursday by U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson rejected the claims of a New Jersey couple who said their constitutional rights were being violated because the law prevents them from seeking treatment for their 15-year-old son.

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In her opinion, Wolfson wrote that the law doesn’t impinge on free speech because it covers conduct — the therapy, specifically — and not speech.

Attorney Demetrios Stratis says he will appeal the ruling to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

Last November, Wolfson dismissed another challenge to the law filed by a group of plaintiffs that included two licensed therapists who practice what they call “sexual orientation change efforts.” The 3rd Circuit is already considering an appeal in that case and a ruling is pending.

New Jersey was the second state to pass such a law; California passed a similar law in 2012, and the U.S. Supreme Court turned aside a challenge to that law in June.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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