US: Supreme Court turns away challenge to California ban on ‘gay conversion’ therapy

The Supreme Court has refused to overturn a ban on “gay conversion” therapy, and Democratic lawmakers recently introduced a bill that attempts to ban the practice at the national level — both legal moves that have advocates cheering.

The Supreme Court declined to hear a case Monday challenging California’s ban on gay conversion therapy. Because a lower court ruled in California’s favor, the ban will remain in place.

The decision comes after years of legal proceedings against California’s 2012 law, which outlawed state-licensed medical professionals from performing “gay conversion” therapy to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

The Supreme Court previously refused to hear an appeal in 2014, rejecting claims that the law infringed on free speech. In a 2012 challenge, conversion therapy supporters challenged the law on the grounds of religious freedom. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state in both cases.

LGBTQ advocates hailed the Supreme Court’s decision on Monday a victory, but opponents of the law vowed to bring new court challenges.

“We are deeply disappointed by today’s announcement, because it means young people in California and elsewhere will not be able to get the professional help they seek, due to political correctness,” said Brad Bacus, the president of Pacific Justice Institute, which brought the lawsuit. Read more via PBS