Author: KembaCharles

Court Observation

On Monday March 13th, I went to NYS Supreme Court Kings County at about 2:15pm for my court observation. When I approached the revolving doors, a confrontation began between one of the officers standing guard for the employee entrance and a civilian woman. In that moment, it appeared as if the woman was trying to enter through the doors for which she was not  permitted. Hence the reason for the disturbance that concurred. When I saw this, I decided to go to the NYS Family Court, Kings County instead, located next door to avoid the commotion.  When I went to NYS Family Court, I observed a case between a muslim mother and father. The case was about whether the court would  allow the father accessibility to his passport in order to travel, which was ultimately denied. When this ended, I headed back to NYS Supreme Court to observe another case when I realized the initial disturbance had been handled. The civilian woman stood handcuffed with about 3 officers surrounding her.  When I entered the building I asked for directions and was directed to a case about a robbery and attempted murder for which they were doing jury selection.  The jury selection lasted about 45 minutes to an hour when the judge alongside the prosecutor and defense attorney came to a mutual decision for which 6 jurors were chosen.

New York Passes a Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’ After Years-Long Efforts (

This article addresses the passing of the law which banned conversion therapy. Since 2003, this bill was introduced by lawmakers but this year it became apart of the law. In 2016, the LGBT community had to denounce the Republican party for their stance and platform based upon the practice of conversion therapy. In relation to the gay and bisexual community, it also extended to the community of gender fluid individuals,  all who are also protected under New York’s discrimination and hate crime laws. The old practice of conversion therapy had proven to have caused unduly trauma to the one’s who had experienced it according to medical professionals and also agreed upon by Gov Andrew M Cuomo.  Matthew Shurka, another advocate against the treatment, believes that ‘conversion therapy’ assumes that everyone is straight and the real reason behind homosexuality is childhood trauma that requires healing. The bill began picking up momentum by 2013 though, when California passed the bill.  A few years after that New York was introduced but New Jersey went ahead and barred the treatment first. According to Cuomo, New York lagged behind but in the end the conversion therapy ban came down to the passing Assembly of 134 to 3 and the Senate 57 to 4.

When gay marriages was legalized in 2011,  I believe that it opened up a further conversation about the practice that endorses changing the mindset of gay people through therapy. In my opinion, conversion therapy was a vile way some parents went about trying to  change their misunderstood homosexual children. In the earlier years,  homosexuality was frowned upon and viewed as a mental illness.  Thus, many homophobic parents sought help through programs for their kids struggling with their sexuality and I believe that, conversion therapy further exploited its patients based on this theory. Nevertheless, the cost and scares that it’d left many of its patients was exponential before the passing of this bill. Prior to reading this article, I’d heard and read about conversion therapy and it was gratifying when it finally became law. Homosexuality, is still a complex status in today’s society with many persons who are oftentimes discriminatory towards gay people. It is comforting to know that it is no longer acceptable in an ever evolving state such as New York. Hopefully, it can provide the comfort some kids or even like minded adults faced with the struggle of self-acceptance to know that they belong to a city that no longer condemns them, but more so encourages them to be who they are.

Who Am I?

Hi everyone, my name is Kemba Charles. I am pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies. I am majoring in Paralegal Studies mainly because I’ve always enjoyed learning about the law and would some day hope to become a lawyer. From this course I’d like to learn everything that it has to offer. About myself, I’m originally from a small Caribbean country called Trinidad & Tobago. I moved here a little over 4 years now to further my education. I love to travel and my favorite place to go to is the beach and ride the waves.