PhillyGayLawyer in Legal Intelligencer: Reflecting on Victories and Losses for LGBT Rights in 2013

Will 2014 be the year when opponents of progress will finally stand alone on the wrong side of history? The forecast looks cloudy, at best. But as I look back at 2013—the battles we’ve won and the battles we’ve lost—I see tremendous potential for advances in LGBT equality in the New Year.

It is always difficult to quantify progress in struggles for increased basic human rights. Looking at 2013 cumulatively, though, there is no doubt that the United States is picking up momentum and moving toward LGBT equality faster than ever.

PhillyGayLawyer in Legal Intelligencer: Pa. Rep. Proposes Ban on State Gay-Conversion Therapies

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, announced his intention to introduce legislation this term that would effectively ban all gay-reparative or conversion therapies in the state of Pennsylvania. Collectively, such therapies are known as sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). The Protection of Minors From Sexual Orientation Change Counseling Act, or SB 872, sponsored by Sims and Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, states, “A mental health professional shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age.” If passed, this legislation could end the litany of medical, psychological and spiritual mistreatments that have done irreparable damage to generations of LGBT youth in Pennsylvania.