Successful at imposing a state speech ban on counselors who could respond to minors’ requests for help ridding themselves of same-sex attractions, activists in California now want to expand the prohibition so that no help would be available to similarly situated adults, either.
California several years ago launched a still-developing move to simply impose, by state fiat, a complete speech ban on any counselor who may wish to respond to a minor’s desire to overcome same-sex attractions.
The Supreme Court declined to intervene in the California situation, so the speech ban stands, although it remains under challenge in other states.
But LGBTQ activists at the state level now have proposed expanding that speech ban that no adult could get counseling should he or she desire it.
Assembly Bill 2943 was introduced just days ago, and would define as “an unlawful practice” any effort or attempt to engage in “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”
Randy Thomasson, of the family values promoting Save California.com, said the effort comes “not surprisingly, from eight Democrat ‘LGBT’ assemblymembers and state senators.”
He recently told KFBK radio, “Banning the free-will choice of adults to want to pay for professional counseling for themselves? People who just want to be free from unwanted ‘LGBT’ feelings that often stem from childhood sexual abuse?
“This Democrat bill is as unfair as banning weight loss centers, exercise centers, anti-smoking clinics, and cancer treatment alternatives. If people want to change, a free society will let them. Whatever happened to freedom of choice? Who do these ‘LGBT’ legislators think they are?”
He continued, “There are tens of thousands of FORMER homosexuals and FORMER transsexuals in our country. They changed back to their natural gender once they learned that homosexuality and transsexuality are not biologically-based. That’s the fact that these intolerant, ‘LGBT’ legislators want to hide – so no one can be healed from sexual confusion.”
The bill claims “contemporary science” recognizes that same-sex and other alternative lifestyle choices are “part of the natural spectrum of human identity.”
It quotes from various groups making such claims, including a same-sex task force from the American Psychological Association that years ago claimed such counseling could cause “sexual dysfunction.”
It also quotes the Pan American Health Organization, as well as the American Association of Sexuality Educators, although those statements simply disapprove of the of orientation “change” efforts and do not call for a complete speech ban on the subject.
The lawmakers making the proposal, Sens. Toni Atkins, Cathleen Galgiani, Ricardo Lara, and Scott Wiener and Reps. Sabrina Cervantes, Susan Eggman and Todd Gloria, insist that “sexual orientation change efforts” have to be defined as an “unlawful business practice.”
“California has a compelling interest in protecting consumers from false and deceptive practices that claim to change sexual orientation and in protecting consumers against exposure to serious harm caused by sexual orientation change efforts,” they claim.
The state’s original ban on such speech by counselors to minors was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Pacific Justice Institute, but the justices did not act.
The PJI originally had won an injunction that kept the law from taking effect, until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal stepped in and created a new, more “restrictive approach to speech.”
PJI represented a psychiatrist, a man who benefited from the banned therapy, and a licensed marriage and family therapist who also oversees the counseling ministry at his church.
At the time, PJI chief Brad Dacus said it was disappointing that that particular challenge did not succeed, but he said, “This debate will continue, though, as other states consider similar bans on counselors’ speech, and new court challenges will be filed against such bans. Ultimately, we believe the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning will not stand the test of time, and we are committed to this battle for the long haul.”
PJI had sued over the clear free speech, religious freedom and privacy violations embedded in the state’s ban on a specific counseling.
WND reported when the bombshell case was submitted to the high court after California banned Christian counselors from talking with teens about the biblical standard for sexuality.
While the ban originated in California, it’s also been adopted in other states, including New Jersey, where a biased judge used it to shut down a Christian ministry.
The bill, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012, demands that state-licensed mental health providers, including psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors and many others, keep silent if their patients who are youth want counseling in ways that differ from state orthodoxy on LGBTQ issues.
The plaintiffs in the case had pointed out the legislation’s “hostility” to religion.
The move actually began in California’s schools, where a previous law allowed promotion of homosexuality but forbade educators from explaining the problems that are associated with the lifestyle choice.
WND reported in 2015 that the bias of a trial court judge and the prevailing political perspective in the Obama administration that homosexuality should be promoted killed a New Jersey counseling program that offered help to those who are frustrated with same-sex feelings.
The group JONAH, or Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, announced the closure of the organization due to a judge’s order in a lawsuit brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
WND reported the jury ordered the organization to pay $72,000 to several plaintiffs who sued under a New Jersey consumer fraud law after they said their counseling sessions aimed at getting rid of unwanted same-sex attractions failed.
At the time, licensed professional counselor Christopher Doyle told the Anglican Mainstream website that the decision “is the consequence of liberal judicial bias.”
“Before and during the trial Judge Peter Bariso stripped JONAH of so many opportunities to really defend themselves, disqualifying five of the six expert witnesses for the defendants because their opinions contradicted the so-called mainstream view that same-sex attractions are not at all disordered, even if a client is distressed by these unwanted sexual feelings because of their sincerely held religious and spiritual beliefs,” he explained.
“The judge’s bias against religious freedom was so ruthless that he even refused to allow JONAH’s chief attorney to mention the First Amendment freedom of religion in his closing argument,” Doyle said.