High Court Rejects Challenge to CA Gay Therapy Ban

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The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to California's ban on conversion therapy for young people.

The therapy is administered to people who want to be healed of same-sex attraction. But California lawmakers banned teenagers and children from receiving the therapy, even if they and their parents are seeking the treatment.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously upheld the ban, ruling that it does not violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and their patients.

The law's sponsor, California state Sen. Ted Lieu, praised the Supreme Court for refusing to take up the case, and accused therapists who offer counseling on traditional sexuality of "extreme" ideology and "quackery."

Liberty Counsel and supporters of the therapy argue that lawmakers have no scientific proof that the therapy does harm.

"I am deeply saddened for the families we represent and for the thousands of children that our professional clients counsel," Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. "The minors we represent do not want to act on same-sex attractions, nor do they want to engage in such behavior."

Liberty Counsel is preparing to challenge a similar therapy ban in New Jersey. That case is scheduled to be heard by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 9.

"We hope to get a good ruling out of the 3rd, which will hopefully get us back up to the Supremes," said Daniel Schmid, Liberty's litigation counsel.

Another eight states and the District of Columbia have pending legislation modeled after the California and New Jersey laws.

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