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.”

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  • MikeE

    the judge is an idiot.
    this is one of the great defects in the American legal system: they’ll let ANYONE become a judge, even the mentally retarded.

  • the other Greg

    Although I agree with the ban, I see a “devil’s advocate” angle here. Does California really want to get into the business of banning every scientifically dubious form of therapy?: reiki, rolfing, 12-step programs, gestalt, homeopathy, etc. etc. etc.? And somehow find a way to ban Scientology even though it calls itself a “religion”?

    In lotus land CA if the state government did that they would have no time left over to do anything else. … Well in the case of CA that’s probably a good thing!

  • 2eo

    ALL homoeopathy should be restricted and very heavily controlled and it’s practitioners who have presented it as medicine or do so in the future should be jailed.

  • Dumdum

    The fundamental issue here is that part of the Hippocratic oath that states to do no harm….I volunteer at a Gay Youth Crisis center and what I have seen and heard would break your heart.

  • Wilberforce

    I love the judges convoluted argument. It’s typical of conservatives trying to get their way.
    Regulating medical practice is contrary to free speech? Not so. The ex-gay people are free to spit their hatreds anywhere else, but not from a therapist’s office.

  • mlbumiller

    Well the next step might really be that licensing boards should suspend creditals of practitioners who engage in repairative therapy. Example the California Board of Pschology rules it is not acceptalbe practice. If practitioner is found to engage the suspend thier license. If they can suspend license for not paying income tax, they should be able to sactioned therapy.

    The ban only covers minors. If adults want to engage in unproven therapy, that is their choice.

  • msfrost

    That idiot judge should be disbarred, for implicitness, to every gay who is tortured.

  • jackpapa

    This judge ignores a fundamental principle of Natural Justice ( from which also springs a doctrine of Freedon of Expression): No expression of the strong should place the weak in peril – No shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theatre – Civilian deaths at the hands of the military of either combatent in war should be minimized – a rich man cannot possess or otherwise control a poor one – a therapy with a potential for deep and lasting harm should not be visited upon the young in order to alter something that is not ‘wrong’ in the first place.

    This judge presumes that the right of an therapist to speak, to influence, to indoctrinate a developing mind in the absence of pathology outweighs the right of any child to find their own way in the world unmolested by this institutional fallacy: “Your feelings of affection and love and your desire to express them are wrong, and dangerous, and must change”.

    He is quite dangerously mistaken.

  • ait10101

    @the other Greg: If those therapies are harmful, like for example some ayurovedic remedies, then yes, they should be banned.

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