Friday, August 30, 2013

9th Circuit Rejects Challenges To California Ban On Reparative Therapy For Minors

In Pickup v. Brown, (9th Cir., Aug. 29, 2013), the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of California Senate Bill 1172 that bans state-licensed mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with patients under 18.  The court rejected claims that the law violates free speech rights of practitioners and minor patients, claims that it violates fundamental parental rights, and assertions that the law is overbroad and vague. The court said in part:
Senate Bill 1172 regulates conduct. It bans a form of medical treatment for minors; it does nothing to prevent licensed therapists from discussing the pros and cons of SOCE with their patients. Senate Bill 1172 merely prohibits licensed mental health providers from engaging in SOCE with minors.... Under its police power, California has authority to prohibit licensed mental health providers from administering therapies that the legislature has deemed harmful and ... the fact that speech may be used to carry out those therapies does not turn the prohibitions of conduct into prohibitions of speech.
AP reports on the decision. (See prior related posting.)