Governor Brown recently signed into California law a bill that will make it unlawful for therapists to attempt to change the sexual orientation of persons in California through the use of what is referred to as “reparative therapy”. This type of therapy attempts to “treat” homosexuals in an attempt to convince them to change their sexual orientation. The new law outlaws such therapy and subjects therapists who employ this “reparative therapy” method to discipline by state licensing boards.
This new law is to take effect on January 1, 2013. However, four counselors and two parents who say their teenage sons were helped by this form of therapy have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that this new law violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. They are asking a federal judge to grant them an order stopping the new law from going into effect.
Federal judge Kimberly Mueller is hearing legal arguments on this issue. She has to decide whether the new law is legal “state action” or whether the new law violates the right of therapists to choose what they believe is the best form of professional treatment for their patients.
This new law is a very good law to prevent this type of therapy from being allowed in California. It is accepted by all in the scientific community that sexual orientation is not a “choice” someone makes. A person who is gay cannot become straight just as a black person cannot become Hispanic. All of the therapy in the world will not change that basic fact. What this therapy does is cause serious long term psychological damage to the innocent patient who is often brought to the therapist by parents who cannot come to grips with the reality that their child is gay.
This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It has to be with protecting innocent young men and women from ongoing abuse at the hands of therapists.
We invite your comments and we will monitor this case closely.
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