US Supreme Court upholds ban on "gay conversion" therapy
The US Supreme Court (SC) turned down a challenge to California's ban on "gay conversion therapy", which prohibits state-licensed practitioners from offering "therapy" to change youths' sexual orientation. This was the second time in three years it rejected such a challenge to the 2012 ban. The SC observed it was constitutionally valid and didn't impinge upon anyone's religious rights.
Plaintiff Donald Welch, an ordained minister as well as therapist at Skyline Wesleyan Church, believes sex is natural only in a marriage between a man and a woman. Welch, a Catholic psychiatrist, and a man who underwent conversion therapy and is now apparently convinced of its benefits, challenged the "unconstitutional" law. In October'16, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals had rejected their petition.
Mental health counselors, including social workers and psychologists, aim the therapy at youths aged below 18 in an attempt to sexually reorient them. Methods include hypnosis, dating-skill training, aversive techniques and more. California prohibited such practices in 2012. Laws are similar in the District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont.