Federal Appeals Court Says N.J. Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy is A-Okay
Today a federal appeals court ruled to uphold a New Jersey Law that bans therapists from performing gay conversion therapy in minors.
The law was passed last fall, but it was appealed by two therapists, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors on grounds that it violated their right to free speech and infringed upon their right to practice their religion.
According to LGBTQ Nation, the court’s ruling in favor of the ban stated that the plaintiff’s argument “runs counter to the longstanding principle that a state generally may enact laws rationally regulating professionals, including those providing medicine and mental health services,” and that “a licensed professional’s speech is not afforded the full scope of First Amendment protection when it occurs as part of the practice of a profession.”
The court also took into account “a number of well-known, reputable professional and scientific organizations [that] have publicly condemned the practice of [gay conversion therapy], expressing serious concerns about its potential to inflict harm. [Mental health organizations] have warned of the ‘great’ or ‘serious’ health risks accompanying [gay conversion therapy] counseling, including depression, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, and suicidality.”
A great victory in New Jersey, which is the second state in the U.S. to ban conversion therapy on gay minors. Bravo!