• Pro-Family, Pro-Free Speech Group Applauds Court Ruling on Reparative Therapy Bans

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    Surge Summary: A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld free speech and struck down local ordinances banning counselling which helps individuals overcome same-sex attractions. This is a decided victory for the First Amendment.

    by The Ruth Institute

    “In striking down bans on Sexual Orientation Change Efforts to lessen same-sex attraction, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals sided with First Amendment free speech against LGBT dogma,” said Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute.

    The court overturned local ordinances of the City of Boca Raton and the county of Palm Beach, Florida. These ordinances prohibited licensed counselors from offering counseling to minors who voluntarily seek their help to “reduce same-sex behavior and attraction and eliminate what they term confusion over gender identity.” (pg. 4)

    Morse noted, “Sexual Revolutionary activists, and the professional associations they control, have successfully persuaded local governments to adopt these bans. The activists argue that this type of therapy, based solely on conversation between therapist and client, are psychologically harmful. I am especially pleased that the Court’s majority considered the evidence on this point.”

    The Court stated: “[The Defendants] present a series of reports and studies setting out harms of SOCE. But when examined closely, these documents offer assertions rather than evidence, at least regarding the effects of purely speech-based SOCE. Indeed, a report from the American Psychological Association, relied on by the defendants, concedes that ‘nonaversive and recent approaches to SOCE have not been rigorously evaluated.’” (pg. 21)

    “Without conclusive evidence, LGBT organizations insist that homosexuality is innate, and that individuals with same-sex attraction must accept their fate — that they are condemned to be ‘gay,’ whether they like it or not,” Morse explained.

    In fact, the majority decision pointed out that the ordinances contain an exception for “counseling that provides support and assistance to a person undergoing gender transition.” But the Court goes on to observe, “No such carveout exists for sexual orientation. The ordinances thus codify a particular viewpoint—sexual orientation is immutable, but gender is not—and prohibit the therapists from advancing any other perspective when counseling clients. That viewpoint may be widely shared in the communities that passed the ordinances, but widespread agreement is beside the point; the question is whether a speaker’s viewpoint determines his license to speak.” (pg. 12)

    Morse congratulated Liberty Counsel, which provided representation to the therapists in this case. “I agree with Liberty Counsel President Mat Staver when he said that ‘This is a huge victory for counselors and their clients to choose the counsel of their choice free of political censorship from government ideologues.’”

    The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization leading an international interfaith coalition to defend the family and build a civilization of love.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge

    Image: CC BY-SA 3.0; http://alphastockimages.com/; Nick Youngson – http://www.nyphotographic.com/; http://picpedia.org/handwriting/f/first-amendment.html


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