Tuesday, May 02, 2017

SCOTUS Rejects Challenge to Gay Conversion Ban

In my view, raising a LGBT child in a right wing Christian home is akin to child abuse.  The only thing worse is subjecting that child to bogus gay "conversion therapy" which claims that a gay child can be "changed" and made straight.  While I was never subjected to such therapy, being raised conservative Catholic and trying to "pray away" the gay for decades, I am well aware of the harm one suffers emotionally and psychologically from trying to change the unchangeable.   Every legitimate medical and mental health association in America has condemned "conversion therapy" and, in fact labeled the practice dangerous with suicide being one of the possible outcomes.  Two things keep the practice alive: (i) parents who have brainwashed by their churches - and want to avoid the "embarrassment" of a gay child - and (ii) quakes and "ministries" out to make a buck.   Several states have finally banned the practice for minors.  A case from California challenged the ban as an improper restraint on "religious freedom" - the Christofascists' new means of attack on anything that restricts their ability to mistreat others.  In a second appeal challenging California's ban, the Supreme Court yesterday rejected the specious claims of advocates of this form of abuse.  Bloomberg looks at the defeat for the forces of ignorance and bigotry:
The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a California law that bans licensed therapists from working with children to change their sexual orientation from gay to straight, rejecting an appeal that said the measure violates religious rights.
The rebuff leaves intact a federal appeals court decision upholding California’s 2012 first-of-its-kind law. The measure prohibits the form of counseling known as “conversion therapy.”
The ban was challenged by three people, led by licensed therapist and minister Donald Welch, who said it interferes with their right to practice their religious beliefs.
California officials urged the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal, saying the law doesn’t restrict what religious leaders can say, except in the context of a state-licensed therapy session.
The law applies to licensed doctors, psychologists, family therapists and social workers, and it subjects violators to discipline by state licensing bodies. The law lets licensed providers refer minors to religious leaders.
The case is Welch v. Brown, 16-845.
The practice needs to be banned entirely nationwide, and should ban unlicensed religious groups from inflicting the abuse on both minors and adults.  No legitimate research supports the practice and many former supporters now denounce it. 

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