U.S. Supreme Rejects Challenge To California’s Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors

6a00d8341c730253ef01a511c72080970c-250wiThe U.S. Supreme Court today announced it would let stand California’s ban on gay reparative or “conversion” therapy for minors, Bloomberg News reports. The ban, passed by the California State Assembly in 2012, was challenged by professionals who practice sexual orientation change therapy, two families who say their teenage sons benefited from it and a national association of Christian mental health counselors. 

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case and in August of 2013 upheld the ban, as a press release issued from The National Center for Lesbian Rights, who sponsored and helped defend the law, points out:

On August 29, 2013, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the law, ruling that the plaintiffs in two legal challenges could not succeed on their claim that the law infringes the free speech rights of therapists who wish to engage in these dangerous and long-discredited practices.

The full Ninth Circuit court declined to further review that decision, and the plaintiffs in the two lawsuits then asked the Supreme Court to review the cases. The Supreme Court denied those requests today, meaning that the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision upholding the law will be the final decision on the plaintiffs’ free-speech claims and the California law may be enforced.

The California ban was the first of its kind to be passed in the U.S. and can now be put into effect having cleared its final legal hurdle before implementation could begin.

New York recently failed to pass a similar ban on reparative therapy for minors. In Texas, the GOP Party platform endorses gay conversion therapy, though the Texas GOP party chairman has come out against the policy.


  1. CAHBF says

    They did not uphold anything. Denial of cert has nothing whatsoever to do with merits of the case. Per wikipedia, “A denial of a cert petition is not a judgment on the merits of a case, and the decision of the lower court stands as the final ruling in the case.”

  2. simon says

    “A denial of a cert petition is not a judgment on the merits of a case”
    It is not a formal judgement on the merits. It is just an informal judgement that it is not worth their time. i.e. it has no merit.

  3. anon says

    It’s interesting that there was no one interested in looking into the first amendment aspects of the case. This might be bad news for the CA porn industry, which the state has been looking to ban for decades.

  4. Jumper says

    The Supremes did not uphold the ban, the 9th Circuit did, the Supremes simply refused to review that case.

  5. Derrick from Philly says


    What post? You mean “SMH”. That’s not a posting. It’s a body movement.

    Rick, I don’t wish you any harm, but did you run out of medication today. Get to the pharmacy…quick.

  6. says

    I don’t see a connection to the California porn industry. Also, the California Supreme Court has already ruled that producing pornography is a legally protected right.