A judge in California has granted a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of California's newest promotion of homosexuality: a proposed ban on any counseling involving sexual orientation change for minors.
Critics say the law would require all counselors dealing with minors to affirm homosexuality and all its variations under all circumstances, regardless of the requests of the minor or his or her parents.
"Because the court finds that SB 1172 is subject to strict scrutiny and is unlikely to satisfy this standard, the court finds that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their … claims based on violations of their rights to freedom of speech under the First Amendment," U.S. District Judge William Shubb wrote in his opinion.
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"Because plaintiffs have also shown that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction, that the balance of equities tips in their favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest, the court grants plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction."
The case was brought by the Pacific Justice Foundation on behalf of plaintiffs Donald Welch, Anthony Duk and Aaron Bitzer. They challenged a law adopted by majority Democrats in the state legislature and signed by Democrat Gov. Edmund Brown Jr., that would impose a ban on all such counseling.
According to the judge, the substance of the bill would prohibit a "'mental health provider' from engaging in 'sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age' under all circumstances."
Welch, a licensed marriage and family therapist and minister, teaches that "human sexuality … is to be expressed only in a monogamous lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within the framework of marriage," the judge wrote.
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Duk is a physician whose patients include minors "'struggling with' homosexuality and bisexuality." And Bitzer has been working to become a therapist.
"The Supreme Court has recognized that physician speech is entitled to First Amendment protection because of the significance of the doctor-patient relationship," the judge noted. That high court has concluded "At some point, a measure is no longer a regulation of a profession but a regulation of speech or of the press; beyond that point, the statute must survive the level of scrutiny demanded by the First Amendment."
"When applied to [counseling] performed through 'talk therapy,' SB 1172 will give rise to disciplinary action solely on the basis of what the mental health provider says or the message he or she conveys," the judge said.
"When a mental health provider's pursuit of [counseling] is guided by the provider's or patient's views of homosexuality, it is difficult, if not impossible, to view the conduct of performing [Sexual Orientation Change therapy] as anything but integrally intertwined with viewpoints, messages, and expression about homosexuality."
The judge said the law simply was not content or viewpoint neutral.
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And, he wrote, "The court has no difficulty in concluding that protecting an individual's First Amendment rights outweighs the public's interest in rushing to enforce an unprecedented law.
"Pending final resolution of this action, defendants are hereby enjoined from enforcing the provisions of SB 1172 (to be codified) … as against plaintiffs Donald Welch, Anthony Duk, and Aaron Bitzer."
When the case was filed, Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice, said, "Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our legislature the last several years, this is among the worst.
"This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church."
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The law, SB 1172, is from a legislature that also previously demanded that school children "celebrate" the life of pedophile Harvey Milk and banned any negative discussions about being "gay," such as the short expected lifespan.
Developed at the behest of homosexual advocates, SB 1172 limits the ability of psychologists, therapists and others to help clients who want to change their sexual orientation.
The plan flatly bans the advice for minors, regardless of what the minor and his or her parents desire. It also demands a new consent form from adults that includes statements about sexual orientation with which many counselors disagree.
Pacific Justice, which has led the fight against the bill since its introduction last spring by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, had sent staff members to lawmakers repeatedly to warn of the plan's unconstitutionality.
In addition, another case has been announced by Liberty Counsel on behalf of counselors; parents and their minor children; and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.
Liberty Counsel cited Brown's statement that change therapy – designed to help those who desire to leave behind same-sex attraction – "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.
California lawmakers have built a long reputation for promoting a free-sex atmosphere in public schools and elsewhere. Majority Democrats on a California state legislative committee at one point killed a plan that would have cracked down on intimate relationships between school teachers and their students.
The unsuccessful Assembly Bill 1861 would have made it a felony if any teacher or employee of a public or private school "engages in a sexual relationship or inappropriate communications with a pupil."
"This is yet another reason for conscientious parents to flee the dysfunctional, immoral, and imploding government school system for church schools and home schools, which are much safer physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually," Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, said at the time.
"Why are Democrat legislators supporting child sex abuse? Why don't they care about children's immature hearts and minds being immorally manipulated and sexually seduced by public school teachers," he continued then. "It is certifiably evil that this bill to protect school children's bodies was defeated by this Democrat-controlled committee."
Thomasson's group promotes the Rescue Your Child website, which encourages parents to seek out church schools or homeschooling options for their children.
His group explains that already in California's public schools children as young as 5th and 7th grades are told they have the "individual" and "personal" right to engage in "respectful" sexual activity with anyone as long as it is consensual and males wear a condom.
California has adopted numerous sexual indoctrination bills, including SB48, which requires positive portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in public school social studies and history classes.
Others cited by Thomasson's group:
- SB 543, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010, "allows school staff to remove children ages 12 and up from government schools and taken off-campus for counseling sessions, without parental permission or involvement. The purpose is to permit pro-homosexuality teachers and administrators to remove sexually confused children in 6th grade and up from campus and take them to pro-homosexuality counselors who will encourage them to embrace the homosexual lifestyle."
- ACR 82, approved by the California Legislature in 2010, "creates de facto 'morality-free zones' at participating schools (pre-kindergarten through public universities). Schools that become official 'Discrimination-Free Zones' will 'enact procedures' (including mandatory counseling) against students from pre-kindergarten on up who are accused of 'hate,' 'intolerance,' or 'discrimination'." What is the hate? Peacefully speaking or writing against the unnatural lifestyles choices of homosexuality and bisexuality.
- SB 572, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2009, establishes "Harvey Milk Day" in K-12 California public schools and community colleges. In classrooms, schools and school districts that participate, children will now be taught to admire the life and values of late homosexual activist and teen predator Harvey Milk of San Francisco the month of May.
- SB 777, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2007, prohibits all public school instruction and every school activity from "promoting a discriminatory bias" against (effectively requiring positive depictions of) transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality to schoolchildren as young as five years old. SB 777 means children will be taught their "gender" is a matter of choice.
- AB 394, signed by Schwarzenegger in 2007, effectively promotes transsexual, bisexual and homosexual indoctrination of students, parents and teachers via "anti-harassment" and "anti-discrimination" materials, to be publicized in classrooms and assemblies, posted on walls, incorporated into curricula on school websites, and distributed in handouts to take home.
- SB 71, signed by Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and implemented in 2008 through the new "sexual health" standards approved by appointees of Schwarzenegger and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, teaches children as young as 5th grade that any consensual sexual behavior is "safe" as long as you "protect" yourself with a condom, and teaches children that homosexuality, bisexuality and transsexuality is "normal."
- AB 1785, signed by Davis in 2000, required the California State Board of Education to alter the state curriculum frameworks to include and require "human relations education" for children in K-12 public schools, with the aim of "fostering an appreciation of the diversity of California’s population and discouraging the development of discriminatory attitudes and practices," according to the state legislative counsel's digest.
- AB 537, signed by Davis in 1999, permits teachers and students to openly proclaim and display their homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality, even permitting cross-dressing teachers, school employees and student on campus, in classrooms, and in restrooms.
The state legislature even demanded earlier students in public schools every year honor Harvey Milk, a homosexual activist and reported sexual predator, as well as an advocate for Jim Jones, leader of the massacred hundreds in Jonestown, Guyana.
In honoring Milk, schools are advocating for the acceptance of what Milk sought: the entire homosexual, bisexual and cross-dressing agenda; a refusal to acknowledge sexually transmitted diseases spread by the behavior; his behavior as "a sexual predator of teenage boys, most of them runaways with drug problems"; advocacy for multiple sexual relationships at one time; and "lying to get ahead"; according to SaveCalifornia.com.
A 1982 biography of Milk tells of a 16-year-old named McKinley, who "was looking for some kind of father figure."
"At 33, Milk was launching a new life, though he could hardly have imagined the unlikely direction toward which his new lover would pull him," the book says.
It also states, "It would be to boyish-looking men in their late teens and early 20s that Milk would be attracted for the rest of his life."
A California congresswoman also has proposed taking SB 1172 and making it a federal law.
Rep. Jackie Speier has introduced a resolution that calls on states to prohibit efforts to change a minor's sexual orientation, even if the minor requests it, saying doing so is "dangerous and harmful."