Supreme Court delivers fatal blow to ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy

A man holds a U.S. and a rainbow flag outside the Supreme Court in Washington on June 26 after the court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal to a California law banning therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation through conversion therapy, allowing the law to stand.

The decision leaves intact a federal appeals court decision upholding the state’s first-of-its-kind law, passed in 2012Bloomberg reports.

The ban was challenged on “religious freedom” grounds, led by licensed therapist and minister Donald Welch.

The law applies to all licensed doctors, psychologists, therapists, and social workers. Those who violate the law are subject to discipline by state licensing bodies.

“Too many young people have taken their own lives or suffered lifelong harm after being told, falsely, by a therapist or counselor that who they are is wrong, sick or the result of personal or moral failure,” Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president said during the time of the bill’s deliberation.

As the American Psychological Association notes on its website:

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers together, representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured.”

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