California ban on gay 'conversion' therapy stands, Supreme Court won't hear case

By Jennifer Pilgrim,

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to take a case challenging the California law that bans "conversion" therapy, which is aimed to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian minors.

California became the first state in the nation to ban gay conversion therapy in 2012, when Gov. Jerry Brown signed the ban into law.

"We look forward to more states joining [California] in preventing state-licensed therapists from engaging in discredited practices," National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter said in a statement to Time.

Currently, California and New Jersey are the only two states to ban so-called "reparative" therapy, but New Jersey's ban is set to be heard by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on July 9. If the court rules against the ban, that means the Supreme Court may need to revisit the issue in that state.

Those who oppose the ban argue that sexuality is not innate, and a person can change his or her sexual orientation. "The minors we represent do not want to act on same-sex attractions," the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, Mat Staver, said in a statement to The New York Times. "They are greatly benefiting from this counseling."

Scientists have stated that there does not appear to be any evidence that a person's sexuality can be changed, and argue that conversion therapies can be harmful.



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