Cleary Gottlieb Recognized by Southern Poverty Law Center for Outstanding Pro Bono Work in 2013

March 26, 2014

The Southern Poverty Law Center recognized 27 firms, including Cleary Gottlieb, for their outstanding pro bono work in 2013 with a full-page advertisement in the March edition of The American Lawyer magazine. The advertisement salutes Cleary Gottlieb for its work with LGBT rights.

Cleary Gottlieb is working pro bono with the Southern Poverty Law Center and Lite DePalma Greenberg LLC on the first-ever lawsuit against providers of “conversion” therapy, sometimes called “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy. Conversion therapy claims that homosexuality is a disease, that it can be cured, and that conversion therapy is that cure. The lawsuit has been brought in New Jersey state court in Hudson County under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Cleary Gottlieb represents four young men (and two of their mothers) who paid the defendants for conversion therapy services based on defendants’ false, misleading and fraudulent claims, including that science showed conversion therapy worked, even though conversion therapy has been rejected by every mainstream mental health association as well as the World Health Organization. The complaint seeks, among other things, recovery of the costs of conversion therapy and the costs of legitimate therapy to remedy the harm done by the conversion therapy.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is an American nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the Center works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.