SCOTUS goes anti-choice on 'reparative therapy'

Monday, May 4, 2015
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

The U.S. Supreme Court has left young people with same-sex attractions few choices in seeking help to change.

California and New Jersey passed bans on therapy for boys and girls under age 18 who have those attractions. Lower courts dismissed lawsuits challenging the bans on what's been referred to as "reparative therapy." Now the Supreme Court has rejected those appeals, meaning the laws remain in effect.

Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, who filed the appeals, says since there are conflicting decisions in the appeals courts, the high court should have taken up the cases because it leaves the patients and their parents without the benefit of the counseling.

Staver

"It's unbelievable that the Supreme Court would sit on the sidelines while there's this conflict that's taking place between the courts of appeal over this major issue," he tells OneNewsNow.

"And when this particular situation presents an issue of national, significant, public importance, the Supreme Court should make sure that ideology doesn't guide its decisions – and unfortunately I think sometimes that's what we see with this high court."

The attorney argues that the ban in effect discriminates against people with same-sex attractions.

"They could pursue a counselor who tells them that their religion is all wrong, their values need to be changed, they just need to accept homosexuality; but they can't get a counselor who is ready, willing, and able to help them meet the objective of change which is something that they most desperately seek."

According to Staver, counselors who offer hope for change will have their hands tied and won't be able to provide the therapy on that one issue without risking their license. So what choices remain?

"The only other alternative that parents have is to move out of those states or to seek counsel from an unlicensed provider," he explains. "[But] that's not an alternative because they can't move, number one – and two, they want to go to an expert who's trained in this area. Parents should never have to face that kind of a choice."

Staver also points out another negative: counselors who have a successful track record in that area of psychology know change is possible, but it won't be available in California and New Jersey.

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