Tuesday, April 14, 2015

3rd Circuit Again Rejects Challenge To New Jersey Reparative Therapy Ban

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, for a second time, rejected a constitutional challenge to a New Jersey statute (A3371) that prohibits providing "sexual orientation change efforts" counseling to minors.  Last September, in King v. Governor of New Jersey, the 3rd Circuit rejected free speech and free exercise challenges to the law brought by counselors offering the therapy. (See prior posting.) Now in Doe v. Governor of the State of New Jersey, (3d Cir., April 13, 2015), the 3rd Circuit also rejected challenges brought by a minor and his parents who claim the law abridges their free exercise rights, their right to receive information and their parental rights to control the upbringing of their children. The Court relied on its King opinion in dealing with the free exorcise challenge.  There the Court had found the law to be neutral and of general applicability. It held that the right to receive information is not broader than the right to disseminate it.  Finally, rejecting the parents' due process argument, the Court held that parental rights do not include the right to choose a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably concluded is harmful. Reuters reports on the decision.