Calif. sued over gay conversion therapy

Oct. 3, 2012 at 1:50 PM

SACRAMENTO, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Two therapists say a California law banning them from offering gay conversion therapy to teenagers violates their constitutional rights.

Lawyers for the therapists and a student filed a suit Monday in Sacramento, two days after Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. They asked a federal judge to block California from enforcing the ban while the case works its way through the courts.

Lawyers for the Pacific Justice Institute said the ban "deprives parents of the authority to seek reparative therapy, including spiritual counsel from their religious leaders, for their children's sexual confusion." The lawyers also suggested agents could end up listening in to psychiatric sessions.

But supporters of the law say its effects are limited.

"The law doesn't prevent licensed therapists from counseling youths on issues related to sexual orientation or sexual desire," said Geoff Kors of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "It just says people operating with a state license can't continue to falsely advertise that they can change a person's sexual orientation, a totally discredited and harmful practice."

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