Why is the government involved in this issue?
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two decisions on Monday — Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Harris v. Quinn — that made major headlines. But the high court also issued a ruling that received far less attention from the media. The Associated Press reports that the nine-member panel “cleared the way … for enforcement of a first-of-its-kind California law that bars psychological counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight.”
The justices turned aside a legal challenge brought by supporters of so-called conversion or reparative therapy. Without comment, they let stand an August 2013 appeals court ruling that said the ban covered professional activities that are within the state’s authority to regulate and doesn’t violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.
According to Equality on Trial, a website that focuses on LGBT news from the courts, there were actually two related cases, Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown, on the docket. SCOTUS declined to take up either case, which effectively means the ban will remain in effect.