Court rejects challenge to law banning gay therapy


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California’s law that bars mental counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said the state’s ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn’t violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that California lawmakers properly showed that efforts to change sexual orientation were outside the scientific mainstream and have been rejected for good reason.

Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal aid group, had challenged the law along with other supporters of the therapy. They argue that lawmakers have no scientific proof the therapy does harm.


I’m amazed this group would want to and attempt to challenge this law.
Amazed and horrified, actually.



Me too.

I can’t believe Catholics aren’t excited about this law being passed. Minors will no longer be subjected to abusive fake “therapies” that are more aimed at tricking Mom & Dad into thinking their child will be “cured” than doing anything for the child. When they’re 18, they can pursue this type of pseudo-“therapy” themselves if they want. But they shouldn’t be subjected to all sorts of harmful treatment (which used to include electrocution and hormonal overdoses, by the way) as minors who can’t protect themselves from abusive parents and/or therapists.


I suspect most catholics like myself don’t pay attention to individual state laws on sex therapy.

To be honest I doubt most Catholics as defined by the rite of baptism don’t pay attention to anything of consequence, since that same group of Catholics don’t even attend Mass regularly . The ones on this website I suspect focus on things that affect their state the church as a whole or the nation as a whole.

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Which case was this? I see two decisions on the Supreme Court homepage for today, but neither are this one.


I think individuals (minors with parents included) in consultation with qualified medical personnel in the free market should be able to decide what therapy if any they want to try or need, not government.


Finding a good therapist might be harder than some think. :shrug:

I still think though that minors who want to try this can do so with parental permission.

I don’t get how the gay “marriage” activists want homosexual literature in kindergarten classrooms but don’t want a 16 or 17 yo to explore their options with parental consent for finding out who they are or could be.

This is always the kind of mess people get into when they rely on government.

This kind of therapy should neither be banned nor subsidized. It can, however, be regulated at the state level to guard against scandal, fraud and protection of minors.

Otherwise, there’s too much fear over this issue because some people are concerned with their agenda first. :rolleyes:


Because everybody knows the government always knows what is best for your children.



While I’m not sure I agree with the concept of this therapy (Although, I’ve read stuff written by people who have gone through it, and they’re experience seemed mostly positive), it’t not the governments place to tell us we can’t seek that sort of thing for our children if we want to. This is just another instance of our government behaving like a nanny state.


Certiorari was denied without comment (which means the high court will not review the case so the lower court’s ruling stands.) Case is PICKUP, DAVID H., ET AL. V. BROWN, GOV. OF CA, ET AL.


The counsel who submitted the appeal sent out the following press release this morning:

Press Release

June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Passes on Change Therapy Ban

Washington, DC—The Supreme Court passed on Liberty Counsel’s petition regarding California’s ban on change therapy in the case of Pickup v. Brown. Two lower court judges and two separate appellate panels have issued conflicting opinions upholding and blocking the ban on change therapy. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction pending appeal, followed by a three-judge panel that upheld the law. That panel then agreed to continue the injunction blocking the law until he Supreme Court had a chance to weigh in on the case. Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to pass on the case means the proceeding will go back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which could lift the injunction and allow the law to go into effect.

The California law was the first to restrict licensed counselors from offering, and minor clients and their parents from receiving, any counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity.

“I am deeply saddened for the families we represent and for the thousands of children that our professional clients counsel, many of whom developed these unwanted attractions because of abuse of a pedophile. The minors we represent do not want to act on same-sex attractions, nor do they want to engage in such behavior. They are greatly benefiting from this counseling. Their grades have gone up, their self-esteem has improved, and their relationships at home are much improved,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “These children have been victimized twice – first by the likes of Jerry Sandusky, and second by legislators and judges who have essentially barged into their private therapy rooms and told them that they must pursue their unwanted and dangerous same-sex sexual attractions and behavior,” said Staver.

Only one to two percent of cases that request a hearing before the High Court are accepted for review. When the Supreme Court declines to hear a case, it does not rule on the merits. Typically the Court looks to resolve conflicts in the Circuit Courts of Appeal and state Supreme Courts. Pickup v. Brown was the first change therapy case in the country. It is possible the High Court will wait to take up a later case. In July another federal court of appeals will hear argument on a virtually identical law passed in New Jersey, which case Liberty Counsel also represents.

“I can assure you the battle over change therapy is far from over. We will be back,” concluded Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

Here is the California law at question:

  1. For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall
    have the following meanings:
    (a) “Mental health provider” means a physician and surgeon
    specializing in the practice of psychiatry, a psychologist, a
    psychological assistant, intern, or trainee, a licensed marriage and
    family therapist, a registered marriage and family therapist, intern,
    or trainee, a licensed educational psychologist, a credentialed
    school psychologist, a licensed clinical social worker, an associate
    clinical social worker, a licensed professional clinical counselor, a
    registered clinical counselor, intern, or trainee, or any other
    person designated as a mental health professional under California
    law or regulation.
    (b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by
    mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual
    orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender
    expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions
    or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
    (2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include
    psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and
    understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping,
    social support, and identity exploration and development, including
    sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address
    unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to
    change sexual orientation.

865.1. Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage
in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years
of age.

865.2. Any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient
under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be
considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject a mental health
provider to discipline by the licensing entity for that mental health


Thanks. That clears things up.


I don’t recall a case name, but it wasn’t a decision. SCOTUS just declined to review the case, which effectively leaves the lower court’s standing in place.

And this is a good thing. Gay “conversion” therapy is a sham and is dangerous.


Where would I find evidence of this?

What studies have been done and by whom?


The American Psychiatric Association, for one?

Just take a look at Wikipedia:


Thanks. I realize that now. :o

I guess I struggle seeing such strong opinions against the practice. I’ll be the first to admit that I do not know much about it. The extent of my familiarity is attending a talk by someone from NARTH on one occasion. I can understand that it seems outside the mainstream and that some dispute the results, but to call it a “sham” seems a bit overkill to me. I would think regulation would be a better approach in this instance than an outright ban. :shrug: But, again, my knowledge in this area is lacking.


The only conversion needed is spiritual, not this pseudo-science which could lead to a psychologically damaged child. The courts should also ban these fundamentalist groups which incarcerated juveniles are forced into to complete their sentence, many will only give a “pass” if the child says they “accept Jesus” and do whatever ritual their “counselor” forces on them.


That’s actually my fault - I should’ve read the whole thread and realized someone already explained it! :blush:

I’m not a scientist, doctor, or psychologist, so I’m just as in the dark as you. But from every professional and reputable source I’ve read, most people agree that gay conversion therapy is at best ineffective and at worst truly harmful to the “patient.”




The APA gave up any right to be taken seriously in a scientific context when they let politics decide that homosexuality shouldn’t be classified as a mental disorder.

Pre-drug treatments for many conditions was just as - if not more - barbaric. However, with continual research, we’ve been able to treat these conditions in a humane manner - other with a simple drug regimen. Research into the causes of same-sex attraction was effectively shut down in 1973. We know that at one point, there was serious research into a “gay bomb”, so it’s clear that chemistry can play a part in one’s attractions. If same-sex attraction could be cured with a pill, would you still consider it inhumane and cruel?


Yet one more reason not to live in the state of California. One is not free to exercise religious preferences if it offends homosexual sensibilities. And we still have some that deny a gay agenda. Where is all the tolerance those west coast people preach?

I guess those in California could just turn over the kids to preachers, if medical professionals are barred from addressing these disorders. :rolleyes:

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