Conversion therapy advocates are taking the battle to the US Supreme Court.
Lawyers for two counselors, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and the American Association of Christian Counselors filed a petition requesting the highest court to review New Jersey’s ‘ex-gay’ therapy ban for minors.
This past September, a panel for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the state’s law, known as Assembly Bill A3371, is not a violation of free speech rights.
The court wrote, in part, the therapy has been condemned as harmful over the past decades by professional and scientific organizations.
‘…[M]any such organizations have also concluded that there is no credible evidence that [sexual orientation change efforts] counseling is effective,’ the court continued.
In papers, filed on 3 December, plaintiffs argued the nine justices should take up the case because the lower courts have offered differing opinions.
‘The circuit courts of appeal are split as to whether a law restricting what counselors or health-care providers may say and what clients or patients may hear in the privacy of the counselor-client or doctor-patient relationship is speech protected by the First Amendment,’ the petition said.