As expected, after New Jersey passed a bill banning harmful, discredited “ex-gay” therapy for minors, a practice which often scars clients for life, the Religious Right is fighting tooth and nail to restore their right to hurt LGBT kids. Liberty Counsel filed an appeal with the Third Circuit yesterday:
Philadelphia, PA – Liberty Counsel filed its Opening Brief at the federal court of appeals against the New Jersey ban on change therapy. A3371, signed by Governor Chris Christie, prohibits licensed counselors from providing, and minors from receiving, any counsel to change or reduce unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity.
“A3371 is far more scandalous than the George Washington Bridge lane closure,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Gov. Christie signed a bill that blocks licensed counselors from providing and young people from receiving any counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, mannerisms, or identity. This law is causing immediate harm to young people and to licensed counselors,” said Staver.
“A3371 invades the sacrosanct relationship between counselor and client by prohibiting therapeutic conversations that assist a minor to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity while permitting conversations that affirm or approve them,” Staver told the court in the brief.
“A3371 is a textbook example of viewpoint discrimination. The legislation explicitly prohibits licensed counselors from providing, and clients from receiving, any counsel to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or identity,” the Staver told the court. “Counselors can only affirm same-sex attractions even though the clients insist that such attractions are unwanted and they want to change. Depriving these young people of beneficial counsel of their choice is dangerous and is causing immediate harm to our clients,” said Staver.
“Harming our clients is OUR job,” Staver might as well have said.
Staver, by the way, is one of those anti-gay wingnuts who believes that homosexuality is so compelling and tempting that nationwide marriage equality will bring about an all-gay nation. As we so often say, statements and beliefs like that say far more about the person spouting them than they do about anything else.