Ban on Gay 'Conversion' Therapy to be Challenged

Monday, 01 Oct 2012 05:50 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Gay rights advocates are making plans to get other states to join California in banning psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight, even as opponents prepared Monday to sue to overturn the first law in the nation to take aim at the practice.

After months of intense lobbying, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill late Saturday that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from using so-called reparative or conversion therapies with clients under age 18. Brown called the therapies "quackery" that "have no basis in science or medicine."

Two New Jersey lawmakers already are drafting similar legislation, while groups that helped get the California law passed are sharing research, witnesses and talking points with counterparts in other gay-friendly states, said Geoff Kors, senior legislative and policy strategist for the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights.

"There are lots of folks today who are looking at this, now that the governor has signed it," Kors said. "We'll be reaching out to all the state (gay rights) groups, especially in states that have had success passing LGBT rights legislation."

Two Christian legal groups, meanwhile, said they would sue in federal court in Sacramento to prevent the law from taking effect on Jan. 1.

The lawsuits will be filed on behalf of therapists whose practices include efforts to help clients change their sexual orientations or reduce their attractions to people of the same-sex; parents who have sought such therapy for their children; and teenagers who currently are undergoing it, lawyers for the California-based Pacific Justice Institute and Florida-based Liberty Counsel said.

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said his organization plans to argue in court that the law infringes on the First Amendment and equal protection rights of individuals to give and receive information that matches their personal and professional beliefs.

"What this law does is tell minors that they can no longer receive information about same-sex attractions that they have been receiving and that they find beneficial to them," Staver said. "It also puts counselors in a situation where they must present only one viewpoint of this subject."

The law Brown signed states that mental health providers who use sexual orientation change efforts on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by their respective state licensing boards.

Mainstream associations representing psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers have dismissed reparative therapy in recent decades as being ineffective and potentially dangerous to the mental health of teenagers and young adults who are led to believe their interest in same-sex partners is wrong.

As originally written, the bill introduced by state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, also would have required therapists to warn adult patients of the practice's risks and limitations and to obtain their written consent before engaging in it.

Lieu dropped the informed consent provision, however, after a number of mental health associations in California — including the California Psychological Association and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists — complained that it interfered with the therapist-client relationship.

Both groups, as well as the other leading professional groups, ultimately endorsed the ban for juveniles.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rick Perry: Oklahoma Beheading Was Terrorism

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:32 AM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling on the Obama administration to take a deeper look into a beheading at a food plant in O . . .

Congress Must Act or Dozens of Tax Breaks to Expire at Year's End

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:24 AM

While it will be termed a lame-duck session, when Congress returns to business following the election, they have a packe . . .

Obama Amnesty Plan Would Let Illegals Convicted of DUI, Vehicular Homicide Stay

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 10:15 AM

An executive order by President Barack Obama that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants convicted of traffic offense . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved