Supreme Court asked to overturn California ban on ex-gay therapy

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Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel. - PHOTO: Courtesy

The right-wing Liberty Counsel has filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Pickup v. Brown, its case challenging California's law protecting LGBT youth with a ban on "ex-gay" therapy for minors.

Earlier this year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the landmark law, which is serving as a model for other states seeking to protect minors from damaging, discredited and discriminatory treatments. After that ruling, the appeals court issued a stay in its decision pending further appeal to the Supreme Court. That means the law, which had been set to go into effect on Jan. 1, is on hold.

Liberty Counsel issued a statement saying it represent parents and children "receiving and benefiting from change counsel, four licensed mental health professionals who practice change counsel, the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality and the American Association for Christian Counselors."

Mat Staver, founder of the Liberty Counsel, in the release claimed, "Change therapy bans are a flagrant violation of a client’s right to self-determination. This is an unprecedented government intrusion into personal healthcare and counseling choices. Driven by ideology and not science, this law banning change counseling will seriously harm children and their parents,” says Staver

However, numerous health organizations say "ex-gay" or "change" therapy, especially for young people, is harmful and potentially life-threatening.

The high court could consider the petition sometime before the end of the term in June.