Conversion therapy is controversial, dangerous, and ineffective. But Christian-rights groups claim banning it violates the right to free speech.
A new law in California which would subject psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to disciplinary action from their licensing boards for providing ‘conversion therapy’ to minors has been put on hold by a federal court of appeals. CNN reports that the law which was set to go into effect on January, 1, 2013, has been blocked by the federal panel of three judges at the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, pending a decision on the constitutionality of the law.
The ruling will keep the law, the first of its kind in the United States, from being instituted until it can be argued at future court hearings … Conversion therapy has been being hotly debated across the country.
Some psychologists insist conversion therapy is dangerous to patients, and say it simply does not work.
The American Psychological Association which is the largest organization of both scientific and professional clinicians representing psychology in the U.S., writes on its website,
To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective … Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons.
However, a Christian-rights group which represents a group of therapists, minors and their parents has sued the state of California claiming the new law is in violation of their right to free speech.
The three-judge panel has given no indication of when they might rule on the injunction, but have scheduled briefings over the next several weeks.
What do you think? Should Conversion Therapy be banned for minors, or is it a parent’s right to put their kid into these programs?
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