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New California law bans therapy for gay teens comment (0)

October 11, 2012

SACRAMENTO — California’s governor has signed a controversial bill banning therapy for gay teens who want to change their sexuality, a move that already has drawn promises of lawsuits from two groups who say the new law violates religious liberty.

Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, announced Sept. 30 on his website he had signed the bill.

Championed by gay rights groups and gay legislators, the law asserts that “being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency or shortcoming” and that “sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay and bisexual people.”

“Under no circumstances shall a mental health provider engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age,” the law states. Any mental health providers who attempt such counseling could lose their license.

Pacific Justice Institute and Liberty Counsel say they will file suit seeking to overturn the law, which is set to go into effect Jan. 1. 

“Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our Legislature the last several years, this is among the worst,” Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, said in a statement. “This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction. ... We are filing suit to defend families, children and religious freedom.”

Liberty Counsel said it will file suit on behalf of counselors, parents and their minor children and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

“The California governor and Legislature are putting their own preconceived notions and political ideology ahead of children and their rights to get access to counseling that meets their needs,” said Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel founder.

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