PARENTS AND FRIENDS OF EX-GAYS & GAYS NEWS RELEASE
US Supreme Court asked to strike Calif. ban on sexual orientation change efforts
LOS ANGELES - Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) and Freedom X have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision upholding California law SB 1172 that bans licensed therapists from providing sexual orientation change counseling to children with unwanted same-sex attractions.
In Pickup v. Brown, the 9th Circuit ruled that psychologist-patient conversations about how a patient can change his or her sexual orientation is “conduct” and not protected private speech, thereby deeming certain words and conversations in a mental health counseling context to be unlawful.
“The First Amendment protects free speech for all citizens, including licensed therapists and counselors who administer sexual orientation counseling to minors who voluntarily seek counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions,” said Freedom X President and CEO William J. Becker, Jr. “The government cannot dictate the nature of counseling without jeopardizing the integrity of talk therapy and children’s voluntary needs.”
The brief explains that, “In a matter as personal as private voluntary non-coercive mental health therapy, the First Amendment bars the government from dictating the words that may or may not be spoken.”
The brief also notes that the ban on talk therapy harms children who have been sexually molested by a same-sex predator, are now confused about their sexual orientation, and yet are prohibited in seeing a licensed therapist of their choice.
“California lawmakers should be encouraging licensed therapists to administer treatment to patients desiring it rather than allowing only unlicensed religious leaders to practice talk therapy,” added Becker. “This law is trying to advance a socio-political agenda which will only hurt minors in need.”
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is the nation’s leading advocacy organization for love, support, and positive life change for the ex-gay community, their families, and individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions.
Freedom X is a nonprofit public interest law firm that protects conservative and Christian freedom of expression.
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