California bans ex-gay therapy
California governor Jerry Brown first banned gay conversion therapy in 2012, but the law immediately faced legal challenges from opponents who said the ban infringed on their right to freedom of speech and religion. Those challenges have been set aside today.
The California Supreme Court has declined to hear the two cases that were challenging the legality of Brown’s law, paving the way for the ban on gay therapy to take full effect.
Brown’s law prohibits mental health providers from “engaging in sexual orientation change efforts” with minors.
Opponents of Brown’s law argued that the ban infringes on rights to free speech and freedom of religion, while supporters defended the ban as an extension of the conditions for providing licenses to counselors in the state.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with that argument, upholding the law in 2013. The Supreme Court ended its term today without hearing two challenges to that ruling, effectively permitting the law to take effect.
California and New Jersey are the only US states that ban reparative therapy. A challenge to New Jersey’s ban is scheduled to be heard by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on July 9.