Banning “Gay Conversion Therapy” in California

California has passed a law making “gay conversion therapy” illegal for persons under 18 years old. Two judges have ruled on the law this week, and they have come to opposite conclusions. Where do things stand now? A religious liberty organization called Liberty Counsel is filing an emergency appeal to stop the law before it goes into effect on January 1, 2013. Joe Carter has the rest of the story on this case, and I encourage you to read it. I want to highlight here Carter’s remarks about why the case is important. He writes:

“The minors we represent have not and do not want to act on their same-sex attractions. They are greatly benefiting from counseling,” says Matt Staver of the Liberty Counsel. “On January 1, the state of California will essentially barge into the room of each counseling session to tell the counselor what they may present, and clients what they may receive, only one viewpoint on same-sex attraction. This is outrageous and offensive.”

As I wrote in May, the larger issue is not about the value of reparative therapy—that should be determined on the basis of its clinical effectiveness—but about whether Christian counselors will soon be banned from helping clients overcome unwanted same-sex attraction. While the effectiveness of such treatments is debatable, there is clear evidence that homosexual orientation is sometimes mutable and that those struggling with same-sex desires can have healthy heterosexual relationships.

Read the rest here.

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