The following comes from a December 4 story on LifeNews.com.
A federal judge has temporarily barred California from enforcing its ban on reparative therapy for children and teens. California is the first state to place restrictions on reparative therapy, which is designed to help people with same-sex attraction fight their homosexual urges and develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex. Homosexual activists claim the therapy harms same-sex attracted youth by making them feel as if their sexual urges are bad or wrong, leading them to depression or even suicide.
Governor Jerry Brown signed a law banning reparative therapy for use with minors in October, calling it “quackery.” The ban is set to go into effect January 1.
Three therapists in California sued to overturn the ban, arguing it violates their constitutional right to free speech. The plaintiffs in the case are psychiatrist Anthony Duk, marriage and family therapist Donald Welch, and Aaron Bitzer, who underwent reparative therapy himself and is now studying to become a counselor to help others overcome same-sex attraction.
U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb on Monday agreed to block enforcement of the law until a trial can be held. He limited the scope of his decision to just the three named plaintiffs, meaning other reparative therapists will have to observe the ban on treating minors until a ruling is made in the case. However, the judge said in his injunction that he expects the trio to prevail in getting the law struck down on constitutional grounds.
Judge Shubb ruled that the First Amendment rights of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who provide reparative therapy outweigh gay activists’ concerns about the practice.
“Even if [the ban] is characterized as primarily aimed at regulating conduct, it also extends to forms of [reparative therapy] that utilize speech and, at a minimum, regulates conduct that has an incidental effect on speech,” Shubb wrote….
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