On Monday, the Pacific Justice Institute, a legal-defense group, filed a federal lawsuit in Sacramento against a new state law (SB 1172) that bans sexual orientation conversion treatment for teens, the Washington Times reports.
On Sunday, Brown signed SB 1172, by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), making California the first U.S. state to ban the treatment, known as "sexual orientation change efforts."
The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Several mental health organizations support the law, including the:
- California Board of Behavioral Sciences;
- California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies;
- California Latino Psychological Association; and
- California Psychological Association (Wetzstein, Washington Times, 10/1).
Supporters of the law say the therapy has no medical benefits and can lead to depression and suicide (California Healthline, 8/29).
Opponents argue that the law is unconstitutional because it undermines privacy and parental rights, as well as the First Amendment.
Comments on Lawsuit
Brad Dacus, president of PJI, said, "We intend to use the legislative record to show the court how this law is both unconstitutional on its face as well as applied."
Christopher Rosik -- president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, which represents therapists who offer the treatment -- said, "California citizens, and especially parents, should know the indifference that supporters of this bill have toward their freedom of choice." He added that NARTH would "lend its full support to the legal efforts to overturn" the law.
NARTH is planning to file a separate lawsuit against the law, according to Liberty Counsel, another legal defense organization (Washington Times, 10/1).