Our Marriage Victory Unleashed a Backlash: Our Work

STANDING UP FOR CONVERSION THERAPY SURVIVORS

Katherine McCobb’s therapist told her that being a lesbian is unnatural and pathological and that he could make her straight. Katherine didn’t seek out therapy because of her sexual orientation but her therapist fixated on her lesbian identity and pressured her to change. He used shame tactics and pushed Katherine to wear makeup and be more stereotypically feminine, eventually even pressuring her to date one of his male clients so
that she could become straight.

NCLR has filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Lloyd Wiley, Katherine’s therapist, for charging her more than $70,000 to provide a treatment based
on harmful lies and a practice that has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other professional counseling organizations as unethical and dangerous. We want to send a clear message that therapists who engage in these deceitful practices will be held accountable.

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PROTECTING OUR VICTORIES

The effort to limit the full reach and power of Obergefell is well under way, including an unprecedented attempt to pass state laws that
permit businesses to refuse services to LGBTQ customers or same-sex couples.

Seven states have passed legislation that permits state-licensed child welfare agencies to refuse to serve LGBTQ children and families if doing so
conflicts with their religious beliefs. Sixteen states have introduced legislation to bar transgender individuals from restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

In addition, the Trump administration has argued that federal law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation;
rescinded guidance protecting transgender students; and announced that it will ban all transgender persons from military service “in
any capacity.”

We will not stand by and watch our opponents turn back time. With our most stalwart Anniversary Circle supporters by our side, NCLR will continue to fight back relentlessly against this onslaught.

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FIGHTING FOR TRANSGENDER YOUTH

Emily—an 18-year-old transgender girl in Minnesota—had to leave home when she was 15 to escape her mother’s verbal and physical abuse. Emily became homeless—living with friends and extended relatives. But despite these huge challenges, she stayed in school, obtained health insurance, got her own apartment, and found a job. With the help of medical professionals, Emily began her gender transition and was thriving in her new life. Sadly, that’s when her mother suddenly re-entered Emily’s life, filing a lawsuit to try to stop Emily from receiving transition-related care.

NCLR stepped in and represented Emily. We were able to get the lawsuit dismissed, but Emily’s mother has now appealed.

Wherever this case goes, your support will enable NCLR to be there to ensure that Emily, and transgender people like her, can access the
medically necessary care they need.

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FIGHTING FOR FAMILIES

Earlier this year, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a devastating ruling, holding that Obergefell was only about the right to marry and does not require equal treatment of married same-sex parents. If it had been permitted to stand, the Arkansas decision likely would have been followed by other state courts, leading to a potential domino effect of decisions chipping away at marriage equality across conservative states.

To prevent that destructive result, NCLR took this case to the Supreme Court.

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court summarily reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court decision based entirely on our petition, making crystal clear that it will not tolerate any attempt by states to disregard or narrow the holding in Obergefell.

As a result, our clients—two married, same-sex couples who had children, and who simply wanted to be issued birth certificates naming both spouses as parents—now have full protection under Arkansas law. “My wife, Leigh, and I just welcomed our new baby daughter, Willa Fern, into the world,” said plaintiff Jana Jacobs. This “decision gives me comfort that my growing family, and other Arkansas families, will receive the respect and protections we deserve.”

And just as important, married same-sex couples have the security of knowing that NCLR has their backs as we fight similar battles in states across the country.

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