April 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Supreme Court may take up new LGBT cases May 1

Supreme Court, gay news, Washington Blade

The U.S. Supreme Court may decide to take up new LGBT cases on May 1. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The U.S. Supreme Court may decide to take up new cases related to LGBT rights — one a challenge to a state’s ban on “ex-gay” therapy, the other seeking gender reassignment surgery for a transgender inmate — during an upcoming conference on May 1.

The first case is King v. Christie, a challenge filed by the anti-gay Liberty Counsel against New Jersey’s prohibition on conversion therapy to minors, which was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the statute, prompting a petition before the Supreme Court.

The second case is Kosilek v. O’Brien, a lawsuit filed by the New England-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates Defenders challenging the Massachusetts Department of Corrections’ decision to withhold gender reassignment surgery to Michelle Kosilek, a transgender inmate who’s incarcerated for the murder of her spouse. The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in an “en banc” ruling affirmed the state’s ability to deny her the procedure.

Both cases were listed as docketed for the May 1 conference on the Supreme Court’s website. It takes a vote of four justices to grant a writ of certiorari (or to decide to take up a case). Given the lateness of the current term, in the event the court agree to hear the cases, they’re unlikely to issue rulings before the term is out in June.

The conference will come days after the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on April 28 in high-profile cases seeking the right of same-sex couples to marry across the nation.

h/t Equality on Trial

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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