Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked SB 1172 from going into effect pending the appeal in Pickup v. Brown. The law would have prohibited therapists and counselors licensed in the state of California from counseling minors with unwanted same-sex attractions.

"Liberty Counsel is thankful that the Ninth Circuit blocked the law from going into effect. This law is an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and would have caused irreparable harm," Liberty Counsel's Matt Staver said of today's ruling.

Immediately after SB 1172 was signed into law in October, two lawsuits were filed to stop it from going into effect January 1st.

Liberty Counsel filed Pickup v. Brown on behalf of several plaintiffs including National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). But U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller recently denied Liberty Counsel's request for an injunctive order citing the opinions of 10 groups that conversion therapy doesn't work. "The findings, recommended practices and opinions of 10 professional associations of mental health experts is no small quantum of information,'' she wrote.

"The court finds there is no fundamental or privacy right to choose a specific mental health treatment the state has reasonably deemed harmful to minors," Mueller wrote in a 44-page decision. Liberty Counsel immediately appealed the ruling.

In a similar lawsuit - Welch v. Brown - filed by Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), U.S. District Court Judge William Shubbreached the opposite conclusion, granting the PJI plaintiffs' request for preliminary injunctive relief. "Because the court finds that SB 1172 is subject to strict scrutiny and is unlikely to satisfy this standard, the court finds that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their . . . claims based on violations of their rights to freedom of speech under the First Amendment," wrote Judge Shubb. He also wrote that the law is "based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies that may not have included minors."

CRI will continue to watch these cases closely. "This ruling allows therapist to continue treating minors without fear of losing their licenses," said Karen England. "This is a victory for individual rights, parental rights and free speech."

Date Added: 2012-12-22