Court Upholds Calif. Gay-Conversion Therapy Ban

by Andrew Johnson

A federal appeals court upheld a California state law that would prohibit the practice of therapy to turn gay minors straight in a unanimous 3-0 ruling on Thursday. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco concluded that the law didn’t violate speech rights because the state has the authority to ban health practices that could be harmful to minors.

“Fundamental rights of parents do not include the right to choose a specific type of provider for a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably deemed harmful,” wrote a judge in the ruling.

Challengers of the ban have vowed to appeal the ruling, which could eventually take it to the U.S. Supreme Court. They argue that the ban does, in fact, violate free-speech rights as well as religious liberty.

Earlier this month, New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed a similar law that would prohibit the practice.

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