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Friday, August 30, 2013

California Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy Stands For Now

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Not so easy for some
  • Not so easy for some
It may still be open to debate whether or not being gay is genetic, a learned behavior, or a free choice one can change as easily as one's shoes (it may also be silly or offensive, but that's another story).

Part of the debate appears over in California, where a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors has withstood a legal challenge.

The state has found that gay conversion therapy is "harmful" for minors and can ergo be banned, a finding upheld by a federal appeals court. As gay-rights advocates praise the ruling -- the nation's first ban on using mental health professionals to convince kids to un-gay themselves -- the question is whether conservatives will bring this to the Supreme Court.

Gay conversion therapy has been the subject of much controversy -- is it real? Is it really being practiced by people so far in the closet they're in Narnia? But that's for adults. For kids who undergo the practice, higher rates of suicide and depression are the result, according to reports.

It's apparently been deemed bad enough that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a ban on the practice in his state -- which is also being challenged in federal court -- but in California, religious leaders and some families say that banning the practice is a free-speech violation.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ban on Thursday, saying that a practice found to be harmful by the state can be banned by the state and does not infringe upon free-speech rights.

Of course, the controversial practice is still alive and well for people 18 or over -- as is applying shame and degradation from people into that kind of thing.

Groups known to be less than gay-friendly, like the Pacific Justice Institute, vowed to fight the ban at the Supreme Court.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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