(Greg Quinlan, left)

Despite the vigorous efforts of “ex-gay” activist Greg Quinlan, legislation to toughen the state’s hate crime and bullying laws advanced Thursday in the New Jersey State Assembly. The proposed legislation also targets bullying in schools.

“It is the height of hypocrisy for ‘ex-gay’ activists to claim they ‘love’ homosexuals and then fight against laws designed to thwart bullying in schools and stop hate crimes,” said TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The ‘ex-gay’ strategy is to make life miserable for gay people so they will desire entering expensive ‘ex-gay’ programs. Perpetuating discrimination and fear is the only way these groups can survive.”

Quinlan recently moved to New Jersey from Ohio, where he lobbied extensively against equality. He is well known as an individual who exaggerates the alleged plight of ex-gays, going as far as claiming harassment, when none has occurred.

For nearly an hour, Quinlan led the fundamentalists in a failed attempt to have the Assembly amend the bill to include people who identify themselves as “ex-gay.” According to the Associated Press, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, at one point lost patience with the persistent conservatives and a brief shouting match ensued.

“Wherever Quinlan appears, civility seems to evaporate,” said Besen. “He is a magnet for madness and belligerent towards those who simply disagree with his viewpoint.”

This is the latest example where “ex-gays” are using the political process to deny healthy and well-adjusted GLBT people equal rights.

“The ex-gay activists just can’t handle seeing happy and complete GLBT Americans,” said Besen. “The existence of well-adjusted homosexuals living rich and fulfilling lives is a direct threat to their business model.”