The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 30, 2013

Court upholds ban on gay-to-straight therapy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the nation's first-of-its-kind law in California prohibiting health practitioners from offering psychotherapy aimed at making gay youth straight.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the state's ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn't violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.

The activities of pastors and lay counselors who are unlicensed but provide such therapy through church programs would not be covered under the law.

The case before the appeals court was brought by professionals who practice sexual-orientation change therapy, two families who say their teenage sons benefited from it, and a national association of Christian mental health counselors. They argued the ban infringes on their free speech and freedom of association and religious rights. The counselors also argue it jeopardizes their livelihoods.

However, in a 3-0 ruling, the court panel held that California has the power to prohibit licensed mental health providers from administering therapies deemed harmful, and the fact that speech may be used to carry out those therapies does not turn such bans into prohibitions of speech.

The law says therapists and counselors who treat minors with methods designed to eliminate or reduce their same-sex attractions would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards.

Supporters, including Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, say the ban is necessary to protect children from a coercive practice that can put them at increased risk of suicide. They also say the therapy's efficacy has been questioned or rejected by every major mental health professional association.

The law was supposed to take effect at the beginning of the year but was put on hold pending the 9th Circuit's ruling. Thursday's ruling reverses the injunction.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar law that would also outlaw conversion therapy in his state.

1
Text Only
AP National
  • Analysis: Clinton impeachment shadows GOP lawsuit WASHINGTON (AP) — The last time Republicans unleashed impeachment proceedings against a Democratic president, they lost five House seats in an election they seemed primed to win handily. Memories of Bill Clinton and the campaign of 1998 may help expl

    July 28, 2014

  • After six weeks, finally a deal on VA health care WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Congressi

    July 28, 2014

  • US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border. The

    July 28, 2014

  • Trial opening over video of Oklahoma City bombing OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Salt Lake City attorney is arguing in a lawsuit that the FBI has video of the Oklahoma City bombing that shows a second person was involved. The case is at the heart of Jesse Trentadue's quest to explain his brother's mysteriou

    July 28, 2014

  • Aid Group: Two Americans have Ebola in Liberia BOONE, N.C. (AP) — Two American aid workers have tested positive for the Ebola virus while working to combat an outbreak of the deadly disease at a hospital in Liberia, a relief group official said. Ken Isaacs, a vice president of Samaritan's Purse,

    July 28, 2014

  • Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel. Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, "Ther

    July 25, 2014

  • Pot may be legal, but homeowner agreements can ban DENVER (AP) — Pot may be legal in some states — but the neighbors don't have to like it. Marijuana and hemp have joined wacky paint colors and unsightly fences as common neighborhood disputes facing homeowners' associations. Though a few HOAs have wi

    July 25, 2014

  • Central American leaders convening at White House WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will urge Central American leaders to help slow the influx of unaccompanied children fleeing their countries for the United States, even as Congress remains deeply divided over proposals to stem the crisis at

    July 25, 2014

  • Little sunlight as Obama raises super PAC dollars WASHINGTON (AP) — For years President Barack Obama railed against the surge of unlimited spending flowing into American political campaigns, arguing that average voters were being shut out of a secretive system that lets special interests bankroll el

    July 25, 2014

  • Prosecutor: Man faces charges in hospital shooting DARBY, Pa. (AP) — A man who authorities say fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex near Philadelphia and was then shot by his psychiatrist remains listed in critical condition. District Attorney Jack Whelan said Richard Plotts would be arrai

    July 25, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National