CA Judge Blocks Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy, Says Not Harmful To Youth

A judge in California has temporarily blocked California’s ban on gay conversion therapy on minors that Gov. Jerry Brown signed in September.

Pink News reports:

Judge William Shubb ruled that the First Amendment rights of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who engage in “reparative” or “conversion” therapy overrule any concerns that such practices are harmful to young people.

“Even if SB 1172 is characterised as primarily aimed at regulating conduct, it also extends to forms of (conversion therapy) that utilize speech and, at a minimum, regulates conduct that has an incidental effect on speech,” Judge Shubb wrote in his judgement.

He also dismissed claims that such therapies can put young gay people at risk of suicide or depression saying that such claims are from “questionable and scientifically incomplete studies.”

Of course, one might think he was referring to gay conversion therapy itself, which has been dismissed by nearly everyone – including its founder – as complete horse shit.

The judge’s ruling, however, only applies to three people: psychiatrist Anthony Duk, marriage and family therapist Donald Welch, and Aaron Bitzer, an ex-gay psychotherapy student. Campaigners said that others could apply for the ruling to be extended to them.

These exemptions only apply until a full trial is held on the subject, but Judge Shubb believes the law, which goes into effect on January 1,will be struck down on constitutional grounds.

“We are disappointed by the ruling, but very pleased that the temporary delay in implementing this important law applies only to the three plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit.” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter. “We are confident that as the case progresses, it will be clear to the court that this law is fundamentally no different than many other laws that regulate health care professionals to protect patients.”