court gavelPost submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern

The Supreme Court has upheld California’s ban on so-called “conversion therapy” on LGBT youth by declining to hear two challenges of the law. 

In 2012, California was the first to issue a ban on conversion therapy. This “ex-gay” therapy is a dangerous and discredited practice that attempts to alter an LGBT individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. By declining to hear the two cases, the Supreme Court has allowed the ban to stay in effect. The two cases are Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown.

New Jersey’s similar ban also faces challenges in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. A federal district court judge upheld the ban, but the appeals court will hear arguments on July 9.

Last week, HRC voiced its support of an anti-conversion therapy bill in Washington, D.C., citing the various health risks posed on LGBT youth as a result of the therapy. These risks include depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicidal behavior. Studies have disproven the efficacy of reparative therapy and shown that it only causes harm onto LGBT youth. In addition, every major medical and mental health organization in the U.S. has condemned the use of conversion therapy.  

Congratulations to NCLR and Equality California on today's monumental victory. 

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