FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Truth Wins Out Commits To Protecting Youth From Abusive Therapy Across America
Burlington, Vt. – Truth Wins Out expressed elation today with a historic victory in California against the abusive practice of conversion therapy, which unsuccessfully attempts to change LGBT youth from gay to straight. As the main national organization that battles conversion therapy, Truth Wins Out says that this significant win means that the organization can now turn to banning this practice for minors across America.
“It is now open season on conversion therapy across America,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “This monumental victory in California means that we can turn our attention to stopping child abuse disguised as therapy wherever this practice rears its ugly head. We are fully committed to protecting LGBT youth from an archaic form of therapy that confuses stigma with legitimate science.”
Today’s ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that a 2012 California law prohibiting licensed therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender expression of a patient under 18 years old may be enforced by state licensing officials, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Writing for the court, Circuit Judge Susan Graber ruled that the California law is a “regulation of professional conduct” and therefore “does not violate the free speech rights of [mental health] practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights.”
Truth Wins Out thanks the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality California for their heroic efforts in winning this challenge to the landmark California law.
“This decision clears the way for this life-saving law to protect California youth from cruel and damaging practices that have been rejected by all leading medical and mental health professional organizations,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “The court of appeals ruled in very clear terms that state-licensed therapists do not have a constitutional right to engage in discredited practices that offer no health benefits and put LGBT youth at risk of severe harm, including depression and suicide. We thank Attorney General Kamala Harris, Deputy Attorney General Alexandra Robert Gordon, and the entire legal team at the California Department of Justice for their brilliant and tireless advocacy in defense of these vital new protections for LGBT youth.”
“The court’s decision today on Senate Bill 1172 is a major victory for anyone who cares about the well-being of our youth. It will directly impact the lives of thousands of young people by protecting them from this horrific practice,” said John O’Connor, Equality California executive director. “We thank Sen. Ted Lieu for authoring this bill and Speaker John A. Perez for his bold leadership in getting the law passed.”
The California law, known as Senate Bill 1172, was authored by Senator Ted Lieu and sponsored by Equality California, NCLR, Gaylesta, Courage Campaign, Lambda Legal, and Mental Health America of Northern California, and supported by dozens of organizations including the California Psychological Association, the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and the California Division of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law on September 29, 2012.
Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director, Wayne Besen, testified in Trenton, NJ on a successful bill banning conversion therapy for minors in New Jersey that was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie, as well as testified in Boston on a similar bill in Massachusetts.
Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.