An unnamed couple in New Jersey have had their hopes of having their 15-year-old son subjected to attempts to change his sexual orientation after their court challenge against the state of New Jersey was dismissed on Thursday.
Lawyers for the couple had tried to argue that New Jersey’s ban on so-called ‘ex-gay’ or ‘reparative’ therapies violated their freedom of speech and freedom of religion as well as their right to equal protection by ‘denying minors the opportunity to pursue a particular course of action that can help them address the conflicts between their religious and moral values and same-sex attractions, behaviors or identity.’
However Federal Court Judge Freda Wolfson found that the couple were allowed to believe and say whatever they wanted under New Jersey’s ban on ‘ex-gay’ therapies but parents did not have the right to subject their children to treatments that health authorities disapproved of.
‘The fundamental rights of parents do not include the right to choose a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably deemed harmful or ineffective,’ Wolfson found, according to Fox News.
‘To find otherwise would create unimaginable and unintentional consequences.’
This is the second challenge to New Jersey’s ban on ‘ex-gay’ therapies that Wolfson has dismissed.
The first was in November last year where a group that included two licensed therapists tried to challenge the law.