News & Politics

Protecting our children: Supreme Court rejects ‘conversion therapy’

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not hear Welch v. Brown, a case challenging California’s ban on so-called “conversion therapy” – which is aimed at turning youths under age 18 away from homosexuality. The decision leaves the state’s ban on the practice untouched.

The justices, turning away a challenge to the 2012 law for the second time in three years, let stand a lower court’s ruling that it was constitutional and neither impinged upon free exercise of religion nor impacted the activities of clergy members.

The law prohibits state-licensed mental health counselors, including psychologists and social workers, from offering therapy to change sexual orientation in minors. The Supreme Court in 2014 refused to review the law after an appeals court rejected claims that the ban infringed on free speech rights under U.S. Constitution’s the First Amendment.

Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:

“Today’s announcement is good news for thousands of LGBT youth nationwide, especially in states that do not yet ban so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ Homosexuality is not a condition that needs curing. However, we do know that the practice of trying to change sexual orientation not only doesn’t work, but puts vulnerable LGBT young people at risk of depression, substance abuse, homelessness and suicide. It flies in the face of a consensus of respected health organizations – including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other groups – that efforts to change a young person’s sexual orientation are harmful. Even so, thousands of LGBT youth are forced to submit to such programs across the country every year and thousands of ‘therapists’ are more than willing to take their money.”

via NBC News