Hallelujah! The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld California's S.B. 1172, the landmark bill that makes it illegal for licensed California therapists to practice gay conversion therapy on minors. Last April I felt compelled to go to court to hear the appeals case.
State licensing boards and the courts already enforce speech-based restrictions on mental health professionals. The government absolutely has the power to protect children from treatments by state-licensed mental health professionals that are ineffective, harmful and abusive.
In 2002 I elected to get help to "cure" my homosexuality through a so-called therapeutic practice, "reparative therapy." I was 21, an adult, and I knowingly sought out help because I was told that my same-sex feelings were a "choice" that was wrong and curable.
In an odd court decision released Monday, federal judge William Shubb temporarily blocked California from enforcing S.B. 1172, a groundbreaking law that prohibits anti-gay therapists from trying to turn gay minors straight. It seems Shubb is a bit confused about the First Amendment.
If there is one thing that we learned from the Pacific Justice Institute's lawsuit against California Gov. Jerry Brown over a new law banning "ex-gay" therapy for minors, it is that these lawyers' legal case is as logic-challenged and convoluted as the industry they are poorly defending.
I interviewed James Guay, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and member of the LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association, on his experience with sexual orientation change efforts as well as his advocacy around the proposed bill.
The California legislature has passed another bill in an effort to create a state where the society is truly affirming and equal for all. This bill has the objective of making our state safe for teens and children.
Passage of California's bill S.B. 1172 would be a monumental, tremendous step toward halting the damage enacted on minors by therapy aimed at converting them to be something other than their true, beautiful, and essential selves.