When California lawmakers passed a law preventing licensed therapists from discussing with their clients how to eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, their intent was to discriminate against the Judeo-Christian belief that homosexuality is sinful, charges a new brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The document was submitted by Freedom X, a nonprofit public interest law firm, as well as Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays, a leading advocacy organization for the ex-"gay" community.
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The brief is in support of a request that the Supreme Court review and overturn a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that endorsed the censorship of specific words and ideas in therapy sessions in the state.
WND reported that in addition to California, New Jersey adopted a similar censorship rule, and other states were considering the idea.
"This legislation makes unfounded claims that sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapy is harmful and ineffective, while ignoring the reality that some minors who develop homosexual feelings have already been harmed by sexual abuse and will be unable to pursue help to overcome sexual confusion that may result from that molestation," said Christopher Doyle in a statement released by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays.
"Children who have been molested and are confused about their sexual orientation as a result of the abuse will be denied access to therapy simply because it is not gay-affirming."
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The brief charges California's law is discriminatory.
"The California Legislature relied only on anecdote and supposition where the perceived inefficacy of SOCE treatment has not been proved," it says. "As the 9th Circuit panel observed, the legislature principally deferred to a report prepared by the Task Force of The American Psychological Association in concluding that SOCE treatment has failed to demonstrate any efficacy. … Yet the findings …. are based strictly on anecdotal claims, which do not, as a matter of qualitative judgment, prove SOCE to be an ineffective or harmful form of psychotherapeutic treatment."
The American Psychological Association report states that "adults perceive a benefit (from therapy) when they are provided with client-centered, multicultural, evidence-based approaches that provide (a) acceptance and support," the brief says.
That approach, APA says, shows "respect for the client's values, beliefs, and needs."
While the state law "adopts the acceptance and support language … it omits the APA language describing what exactly it is a therapist is encouraged to accept and support during therapy sessions – the patient's 'values, beliefs and needs.'
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"By omitting the APA Report's qualified definition of 'acceptance and support' to include the patient's 'values, beliefs and needs,' SB 1172 shows a legislative intent to prevent the patient's values and beliefs from guiding the psycho-therapeutic treatment.
"It further reveals the legislature's intent to impose its beliefs and values on patients whose beliefs and values differ," the brief argues. "Here, the legislature's true reasons for attempting to prohibit SOCE speech stem from a political and social viewpoint that derogates Orthodox Judaism, conservative Christianity, and any other religious viewpoint that might consider homosexual behavior sinful."
The law violates not only freedom of speech but the requirement that government be neutral between religions "and between religion and nonreligion," the brief says.
The brief also notes that the APA report cites a difference between forced therapy and voluntary therapy, which is what the state law addresses.
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It points out that the APA report "repeatedly asserts that religious views, and particularly Christian and Jewish views and their proponents, actually cause or exacerbate problems for homosexual people."
The law's "stated reliance upon the APA report as an objective, scientific study is betrayed as false because the report is actually critical of certain identified religious groups and their views about homosexuality."
The law also is flawed, the brief contends, because the APA has stated that faith traditions "have no legitimate place arbitrating behavioral or other sciences."
In the California dispute, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling allowing the state to censor therapists' statements to clients, but it also then agreed to put the decision on hold until the Supreme Court weighs in.
The state's change-therapy ban essentially would allow counselors to encourage young clients to abandon heterosexuality and pursue homosexuality, but they would be forbidden from encouraging those same clients from abandoning homosexuality and pursuing heterosexuality.
The 9th Circuit, after it issued the ruling, refused to rehear the case. But the ruling prompted a heated dissent in which three of the judges pointed out that such speech restrictions violate the Constitution.
"May California remove from the First Amendment's ambit the speech of certain professionals when the state disfavors its content or its purpose? – The Supreme Court has definitely and unquestionably said 'No.' It is no longer within our discretion to disagree," said the minority opinion by Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain.
He was joined by two other judges in the dissent, which said, "Legislatures cannot nullify the First Amendment's protections for speech by playing this labeling game."
"Indeed," he said, "authoritative precedents have established that neither professional regulations generally, nor even a more limited subclass of rules, remain categorically outside of the First Amendment's reach."
Liberty Counsel also is fighting the same law in New Jersey.
Wrote O'Scannlain: "The panel cites no case holding that speech, uttered by professionals to their clients, does not actually constitute 'speech' for purposes of the First Amendment. And that should not surprise us – for the Supreme Court has not recognized such a category. … The Supreme Court has chastened us lower courts for creating, out of whole cloth, new categories of speech to which the First Amendment does not apply. But, that is exactly what the panel's opinion accomplishes in this case."
"The First Amendment protects free speech for all citizens, including licensed therapists and counselors who administer sexual orientation counseling to minors who voluntarily seek counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions," said Freedom X president and CEO William J. Becker Jr. "The government cannot dictate the nature of counseling without jeopardizing the integrity of talk therapy and children’s voluntary needs."
The brief explains: "In a matter as personal as private voluntary non-coercive mental health therapy, the First Amendment bars the government from dictating the words that may or may not be spoken."
The brief also notes that the ban on talk therapy harms children who have been sexually molested by a same-sex predator, are now confused about their sexual orientation and yet are prohibited in seeing a licensed therapist of their choice.
O'Scannlain said the legislature was simply trying to restrict ideas by "defining disfavored talk as 'conduct.'"
It's just the latest in a long list of indoctrination laws that California has adopted in recent years. Another recent move was to require public schools to let students use restrooms and locker rooms according to their "perceived gender." The plan that earned the nickname California's "bathroom bill" is pending because of a potential citizen's initiative challenge.
Earlier, an unsuccessful Assembly bill 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."
Another bill, SB48, requires positive portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in public school social studies and history classes.
Other state laws:
- SB 543, signed by then-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 sixth 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 are 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 are 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 then-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 fifth 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 that students in public schools every year honor Harvey Milk, a homosexual activist, reported sexual predator and advocate for Jim Jones, leader of the massacred hundreds in Jonestown, Guyana.
SaveCalifornia.com contends that 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."