Today, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected for the third time a challenge to California’s 2012 law that protects LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” The Court’s action leaves in place the decision of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholding the law’s constitutionality. In June of 2014, the Supreme Court refused to hear two consolidated cases challenging the California law.
California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws or regulations to protect minors from being subjected to conversion therapy by state-licensed mental health providers.
“Conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” is a range of practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. These practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization for decades.
There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people. Use of these dangerous practices lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior, which is why they are universally criticized by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here.