Today, pair of federal court decisions. Both relating to the new Californian law banning conversion therapies for minors. One judge supported it, another said it was unconstitutional. From the New York Times:
But because the therapy mainly involves speech, Judge Shubb said, the ban could bar “a mental health provider from expressing his or her viewpoints about homosexuality” during treatment. He also questioned the scientific proof behind a central justification for the law: that the therapy causes serious harm to minors. In anecdotal accounts, many former patients describe extreme distress and depression after trying conversion therapy.
But evidence of harm may be insufficiently established, the judge said, “based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies that may not have included minors.”
The battle is mostly between gay right advocates, mental health folks and California’s attorney general versus … Christian groups! Of course! Who have a vested interest in having homosexuality be a curable disorder.
I’m not versed in the scientific literature on the subject, but at least from where I’m sitting, the situation is clear. We’re talking about minors here. It’s a shame when adults decide for themselves that they want to go through nonsense therapies like these. I say “nonsense”, because you can’t seem to stop the bulk of the ex-gay movement from eventually admitting its failure. Minors are a whole different question. When I think of any of my gay friends or acquaintances having to go through conversion therapy before they’d left high school, the thought breaks my heart.