A Christian legal group called the Pacific Justice Institute has filed a lawsuit against California’s recently passed ban on gay conversion therapy for minors, citing violations of privacy and free speech.
“This legislation is an outrageous violation of the civil rights of youth, of parents and of licensed counselors, including clergy who are licensed counselors,” said PJI president Brad Dacus. “What we’re advocating is for all to have the freedom and liberty to seek the counseling that meets their needs.” Dacus filed the suit Monday on behalf of a student who had undergone the therapy as well as two counselors.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the landmark measure into law – which goes into effect in January – over the weekend, making California the first and only state to bar mental health professionals from performing treatment that seeks to change gender expression, or eliminate sexual or romantic same-sex attractions in persons under 18 years of age.
Earlier this year, gay conversion therapy pioneer Dr. Robert Spitzer notably denounced the therapy and apologized to the LGBT community.
The suit alleges that the law is unconstitutional as it violates a person’s right to privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, is not having any of it. Criticizig the suit, she vowed to work with the state attorney general to defend the law: “It’s a series of very artful dodges and red herrings and has really zero merit. This is a law that protects minors from a practice regarded by every mainstream mental health organization as harmful, damaging and without any basis in scientific fact.”
Another Christian group, the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, is also planning on filing a suit against the law on behalf of two counselors and two parents with children currently undergoing the therapy.
“This new law has just gone way beyond common sense,” said Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver. “Counselors cannot counsel minors about reducing or eliminating same-sex attraction even if the client is asking for this counseling.”
Meanwhile, these guys wouldn’t know common sense if it hit them over the head then forced them to deny their sexuality in the name of pseudoscience.