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Does 'gay-conversion' therapy ban violate 1st Amendment? [Talk Back]

December 4, 2012 |  7:16 am

A new ban on therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation of minors from gay to straight was one of the most discussed laws passed from the California Legislature this year. It was the first law of its kind in the nation.

Talk back LABut now a judge has blocked the state from enforcing it.

As Sacramento Bureau Chief Evan Halper reported today:

U.S. District Judge William Shubb ruled that the new law, SB 1172, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year, may inhibit the 1st Amendment rights of therapists who oppose homosexuality. The judge signed a temporary injunction that prohibits the state from enforcing the ban, the first of its kind in the nation, against the three plaintiffs in the suit pending trial.

The plaintiffs are represented by the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, which expressed confidence that the injunction could also apply to other therapists who choose to be added as plaintiffs.

Shubb wrote in his 38-page ruling that the new law, by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) “likely… bans a mental health provider from expressing his or her viewpoints about homosexuality as part of … treatment.”

The judge also found fault with the evidence cited by proponents of the law that conversion therapy puts patients at risk of suicide. He wrote in his ruling that it is “based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies that may not have included minors.”

Is the gay conversion law a good idea or a violation of free-speech rights? Share your thoughts below.

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