Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in New Jersey have the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals. LGBT persons in New Jersey enjoy strong protections from discrimination, and have had the right to marry since October 21, 2013.
Since the late 1960s, state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people has become increasingly less acceptable. A series of court decisions have enlarged the areas of LGBT rights. LGBT people were allowed to gather in drinking establishments in 1967 and allowed to have intimate relationships in 1978. Anti-gay adoption policies by New Jersey's state welfare agency were dropped in 1997. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, amended to include sexual orientation and gender identity in 1991 and 2006, prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Criminal law deters bias-motivated crimes against LGBT individuals, and New Jersey schools are required to adopt anti-bullying measures that address LGBT students. In August 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law prohibiting mental health providers from providing so-called "conversion therapy" to LGBT minors.
New Jersey is frequently referred to as one of the United States' most LGBT-friendly states, with several gay establishments and venues throughout the state, notably in Jersey City, Asbury Park, Maplewood, Atlantic City, Ocean Grove, Edison and Cape May among others. Opinion polls have shown very high levels of support for same-sex marriage.