On Monday, June 30th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) finally indicated that they would not grant certiorari (would not be reviewing) two cases filed against California's ban on "sexual orientation change efforts" (SOCE) with minors -- a practice also known as "reparative therapy" or "gay conversion therapy." After California's law (SB 1172) was passed, two challenges were filed against the law (Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown), but the Ninth Circuit Court had denied those challenges. The Circuit Court ruled that the law was a reasonable regulation of professional conduct, and rejected the contention of those challenging the law that it violated "free speech rights" of therapists and patients, as well as violating "parents' rights." While that ruling was appealed, the law could not be enforced, and therapists such as Pickup or Welch were free to continue to offer SOCE to minors in California (and by personal admission did engage in this practice). As the SCOTUS has declined to hear the appeal, SB 1172 can now be enforced to the full extent of the law.
Having been involved from the outset in the effort to get SB 1172 passed, with members of our organization working very hard on this issue, Gaylesta celebrates this victory with both pride and relief. The battle is not yet over, however, as SOCE can still be offered to adults as a supposedly legitimate form of psychotherapy. We will continue to press forward and fight this practice with adults as well. SOCE only causes further suffering to LGBT individuals, provided by psychotherapists who reinforce the worst of our society's prejudices. These psychotherapists ignore known facts about these practices: research evidence as well as personal stories have shown their harmfulness; they are based upon theories and concepts of sexuality that were dismissed long ago; offering SOCE as "therapy" can be challenged as unethical on many levels. Continue to watch the Gaylesta website for more news on this issue.