New Court Filings Seek to Halt Gay Therapy Ban

SACRAMENTO – Attorneys with Pacific Justice Institute filed major legal briefs this week asking the federal court in Sacramento to prevent a controversial ban on so-called “change therapy” or “reparative therapy” from taking effect Jan. 1.

The law, known as SB 1172, was passed by the legislature and then signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown the last weekend in September. PJI filed suit immediately to protect the rights of families to seek treatment for sexually confused youth; the rights of mental health professionals to offer their best professional counsel, not a script dictated by the government; and the rights of churches to offer professional counseling consistent with their doctrinal beliefs.

The motion filed by PJI lays out the core constitutional problems with the law and asks the court to issue a preliminary injunction that would place the law on hold until it is fully adjudicated. Oral arguments on the motion are scheduled for December 3 at 2:00 p.m. before Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “To date, the push for SB 1172 has relied heavily on soundbites and buzzwords. Our legal briefs have unmasked this stealth attack for what it is—an unprecedented attempt to reach even inside the four walls of a church to enforce state orthodoxy on homosexual behavior. We are looking forward to defending churches—and our children—in court.”

The court’s ruling will be closely watched throughout the nation as other states consider similar measures. Taking a cue from California, a ban on reparative therapy was introduced in Pennsylvania this fall just before the end of the legislative calendar, and a gay legislator in New Jersey has promised to pursue the same type of measure in that state’s upcoming legislative session.