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US Supreme Court upholds California's ban on gay conversion therapy

Law makes it illegal for licensed therapists and counselors to try and change a child's sexual orientation or gender expression

US Supreme Court upholds California's ban on gay conversion therapy
Exterior of the US Supreme Court

For the second time in three years, the US Supreme Court has passed on reviewing a case challenging a California law which makes it illegal for licensed therapists and counselors to try and change the sexual orientation or gender expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.

The high court on Monday (1 May) left in place a US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling which upheld the ban on what is known as ‘conversion therapy,’ ‘reparative therapy,’ ‘ex-gay therapy,’ or ‘sexual orientation change efforts.’

The law was signed by Governor Jerry Brown back in September 2012 and was the first of its kind in the nation. New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and the District of Columbia have similar laws on the books.

The lawsuit challenging the ban was filed by a San Dieho minister named Donald Welch who asserted that it violates religious rights. It was immediately challenged in two lawsuits which claimed that the law infringed the free speech rights of therapists.

State-licensed therapists who violate the law can be subject to professional discipline by California licensing authorities.


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