The issue could come before the court again because of a legal fight over a similar New Jersey law. The plaintiff in the California case, Liberty Counsel, argued the law violates the free-speech rights of both parents, counselors and therapists who provide treatment aimed at turning gay children straight.
The high court's decision not to hear the case allows a federal appellate ruling to stand and a stay on enforcing the law to end. The appeals court said the state had demonstrated that conversion therapy has no scientific underpinnings and rejected the free-speech claims.
"The Supreme Court has cement shut any possible opening to allow further psychological child abuse in California," state Sen. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, said in a statement. "The court's refusal to accept the appeal of extreme ideological therapists who practice the quackery of gay conversion therapy is a victory for child welfare, science and basic humane principles."
Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, said he was disappointed by the court's action. He suggested many children who show homosexual tendencies have been molested.
"These children have been victimized twice -- first by the likes of Jerry Sandusky, and second by legislators and judges who have essentially barged into their private therapy rooms and told them that they must pursue their unwanted and dangerous same-sex sexual attractions and behavior," Staver said.