Homophobic Liberty Counsel announces plans to sue over California ban on gay therapy

Mon. October 1, 2012 5:06 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

Washington, DC - Following California Governor Jerry Brown's (D) signature on a bill banning change therapy in that state, Liberty Counsel, in association with the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), has announced that they are preparing a lawsuit to challenge the law banning change therapy.

Change therapy attempts to alter a minor's sexual orientation from gay to straight.

Gov. Brown told the San Francisco Chronicle: "This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

"The California governor and legislature are putting their own preconceived notions and political ideology ahead of children and their rights to get access to counseling that meets their needs," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "A number of minors who have struggled with same-sex attraction have been able to reduce or eliminate the stress and conflicts in their lives by receiving counseling of their choice which best meets their needs and religious convictions. This bill will harm children, stress families, and place counselors in a catch-22, because they will be forced to violate their licensing ethical codes," said Staver.

"We are filing on behalf of mental health professionals who find themselves in a catch-22," Staver said. Therapists have an ethical obligation to help clients deal with conflict. If a client is experiencing conflict between religious beliefs and same-sex attractions and wants to prioritize those beliefs over such attractions, the counselor is ethically obligated to directly help or refer for help. Under this law, the counselor will be forced to disregard the client's religious beliefs or change them. "This bill and the ethical codes of all of the licensing boards in California are on an inevitable collision course," Staver said. "The licenses of countless mental health professionals hang in the balance."

"This law undermines parental rights," Staver pointed out. "Mental health decisions should be left to the patient, the parents, and the counselors – not to the government to license one viewpoint," Staver concluded.

Liberty Counsel is a not-for-profit group that claims to provide pro bono legal assistance in the areas of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family. Their activities have been decidedly anti-gay.