A federal appeals court has upheld the law in California that prohibits health practitioners from offering psychotherapy intended to turn gay youth straight on Thursday, according to a report on the Sacramento Bee website.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, ruled the state’s ban on conversation therapy for minors does not violate free speech rights of licensed counselors or their patients.
Religious figures and unlicensed lay counselors would not be covered.
The appeal was made by professionals who practice sexual-orientation change therapy, two families who say their teenage sons benefited from it, and a national association of Christian mental health counselors.
They argued the ban infringes on their free speech and freedom of association and religious rights. The counselors also argue it jeopardizes their livelihoods.
Gov. Jerry Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and other supporters of the law said the ban is necessary to protect children from a coercive practice that can put them at increased risk of suicide. They also said the therapy's efficacy has been questioned or rejected by every major mental health professional association.