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Well it certainly didn't take them very long, now did it? This past Sunday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1172, a piece of legislation sponsored by LA Area state Senator Ted Lieu which will, as of January 1, ban the use of "conversion therapy" on minors under the age of 18.

And already we see not just one but TWO lawsuits announced in an attempt to get quacks the right to practice quack mental health care and endanger the lives of LGBT teens.

Follow me below the squiggle and I'll give you the information I can glean, along with some attitude about how I think those suits will fare.

The first of these suits was announced yesterday by right-wing legal thinktank Liberty Counsel on behalf of a group known as NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (Warning: clicking the first link will take you to Liberty Counsel's press release. Clicking the second link, on the other hand, will take you to the Southern Poverty Law Counsel's website. You decide.)

NARTH, you may recall, was founded by therapists who were disappointed that the American Psychiatric Association and other mainstream groups refuse to consider homosexuality a "disorder." Among the founders of NARTH is the late Charles Socarides, whose son, ironically, is an out gay man who served as President Bill Clinton's advisor to the LGBT community. You may further recall that a couple of years ago NARTH received some publicity, of a type they'd probably just as soon have done with done without when George Rekers, at the time one of NARTH's "scientific advisors" was photographed at Miami International Airport in the company of a 20-year-old male prostitute who Rekers had hired off the website rentboy.com (sorry, no link; I'm at work), supposedly to cough "carry Rekers' luggage." Suddenly Rekers was no longer on NARTH's advisory board. Incidentally, if you follow the SPLC link above you'll see references to the sort of folks the nice people at NARTH like to associate themselves with.

Today saw a SECOND lawsuit announced, this one to be filed by Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (once again, this link goes directly to PJI's site so, once again, you've been warned). This second suit will seek an injunction on behalf of "families, children and religious freedom." Dacus was most recently behind not just one but TWO unsuccessful attempts to block another piece of California legislation that mandates the inclusion of the accomplishments of LGBT individuals, as well as the accomplishments of the disabled, in the teaching of history in California public schools.

On the one hand, it's unfortunate that anyone would choose to file suit seeking the right to essentially practice child abuse, supposedly in the name of "religious freedom." On the other hand, I almost look forward to these cases going to trial. The result could be a sort of mashup of the most delicious aspects of the courtroom trial regarding Prop 8 and the trial, a few years ago, that basically resulted in the removal of "Intelligent Design" from public school science curricula.

As one of the lead attorneys in the Prop 8 trial noted, the witness stand is a lonely place because it's one thing to make statements in press releases; it's another to testify in court. As much as it pains me that the implementation of SB 1172 could be delayed, I'm inclined to say "bring it on."

I don't think most people here really need to be reminded of this, but these attempts to "pray away the gay" have been shown, over and over and over again, to be unsuccessful, to the point where even some of the organizations that oppose gay rights are backing off from the idea that such a thing is actually possible. At the same time, it has also been proven repeatedly that these attempts, inflicted on minors, present the real possibility of inflicting further harm on an already fragile population. By some accounts, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning teens are up to four times as likely as their straight-identified peers to attempt suicide. It might even be a good thing if the testimony of actual experts who've studied the effects of this so-called therapy were to be presented, on the record, in a courtroom setting. And if the right wing wants to use their money filing suits that are bound to fail, that's just a bit less money available to them for other nefarious purposes.

There is the further irony that both of these lawsuits attempt to block a law which provides for no civil or criminal penalties in the event it is violated. Instead it mandates  only that violators be discipline by the provider’s licensing entity.

Originally posted to sfbob on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:39 PM PDT.

Also republished by Angry Gays and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My reaction was also to say "Bring it on" (24+ / 0-)

    Let's get a court to rule on this cruel, torturous quackery that has been completely denounced by the entire mainstream Psychiatric and Psychological community.  

    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by mindara on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:44:04 PM PDT

    •  Yep - in exactly the same way that a Florida court (6+ / 0-)

      ruled in favor of adoption by gay couples......by putting George Rekers on the stand.

    •  You might regret that (0+ / 0-)

      Doesn't the same right to privacy that prevents states from prohibiting abortions apply equally well to prohibiting psychotherapy with particular objectives?

      In both cases, the state is inserting itself into the doctor / patient relationship and trying to prohibit a procedure.

      In the second case, there is not even the excuse of trying to protect a third party (the unborn fetus).

      I think California can probably refuse to fund this therapy, just as it could refuse to fund abortions, but that's not what is at issue here.

      •  What's at issue here is that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie, YucatanMan

        this "therapy" is not a controversial therapy with mixed results that adults agree to for themselves with full disclosure that it may not work. In fact there is no evidence that it works and lots of evidence that it doesn't. And it is done to minors who may already be in crisis, and may push them over the edge.

        It's like an exorcism. And as we know, it's not unusual for the patient victim person on whom the exorcism is being done to die during an exorcism.  Something like that should not be even considered a "medical treatment".

        •  I could write the same thing about abortion (0+ / 0-)

          making the point that it is done to healthy pregnant women who have no disease or disorder of any kind.

          Is there anything in this law that makes it only apply when the patient is a minor?

          •  Sometimes (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            S F Hippie, dejavu, sfbob, YucatanMan

            The government needs to take away some liberties in order to protect the people. I don't think that we should allow these Christian assholes to destroy these minors' lives just because of their backwards beliefs. This "therapy" is child abuse, and should be treated like such.

            I don't care if its "religious freedom" that is being attacked. We don't allow "religious freedom" that harms people to be exercised. We won't let some death cult commit murder in the name of "religious freedom". We don't let Muslims stone women who walk around uncovered. We let all of these people have their personal beliefs, in their churches and gatherings. We DON'T let these beliefs harm other people.

            •  Does this law only apply to treatment of minors? (0+ / 0-)

              Do you then agree that if this law applies to adults who want this treatment for themselves that it is unconstitutional?

              BTW, if you think that the government can prohibit this treatment for minors, what about abortion for minors?

              •  I don't feed trolls (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dejavu

                .

                •  Or you've just discovered that your position is (0+ / 0-)

                  logically indefensible.

                  Ouchy.

                  •  No, I think Xenulives has it right. (0+ / 0-)

                    The FDA has banned many medical treatments as being "quackery".  Isn't that coming between a doctor and their patient?  

                    Your arguments don't hold water.  They are nothing but a head fake.

                    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

                    by tle on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:38:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  or you made a false equivalency, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    YucatanMan

                    a fairly juvenile attempt at equating a medical procedure with something that some people are born with.

                    However, as you manage to expose - the "tell" that tips your hand- your objections to both have one thing in common - your objections are based upon a misreading of the Bible, and are both attempts at forcing Right Wing Christian dogma upon others.

                    Do yourself a favor- go read the entire book of Matthew- that's Jesus telling his followers what they must do, if they are to be Christians. IF you can't do that, if you think you have to parse Jesus' words, if you think that you can ignore that, well, when you get to Matthew 25, 31- 46

                    http://www.biblegateway.com/...

                    They you can read your fate.

                    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

                    by azureblue on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:47:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't remember citing the bible and since I have (0+ / 0-)

                      never read it don't see how I could misread it.

                      your objections are based upon a misreading of the Bible, and are both attempts at forcing Right Wing Christian dogma upon others.
                      I'm also not Christian or right wing.

                      Mind telling me where you got any of this from?  Are you confusing me with another commenter?

                      Do yourself a favor- go read the entire book of Matthew- that's Jesus telling his followers what they must do, if they are to be Christians. IF you can't do that, if you think you have to parse Jesus' words, if you think that you can ignore that, well, when you get to Matthew 25, 31- 46
                      What on earth is the relevance of that to a question about US Constitutional law?  You do realize that we do not have an Christian equivalent of Shariah, right?  Our legal system does not derive from the bible.
              •  all sorts of medical quackery (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                YucatanMan

                is prohibited.   Such was the cause of starting the FDA.

              •  again, bogus. (3+ / 0-)
                BTW, if you think that the government can prohibit this treatment for minors, what about abortion for minors?
                since both the "condition" and the "treatment" are bogus, the constitution provides the gov't the ability to ban it, for the "public welfare".

                clearly, this doesn't apply in the case of abortion for minors, since they are pregnant (a real condition), and abortion is a legitimate medical procedure.

                there ya go. see how simple that was?

                •  First off, you are confused about the difference (0+ / 0-)

                  between federal and state power.  The General Welfare Clause is in the US Constitution but we are discussing actions by the State of California.  The only issue here is whether this action violates any of the protections in the US Constitution, most importantly the right to privacy.

                  since both the "condition" and the "treatment" are bogus, the constitution provides the gov't the ability to ban it, for the "public welfare".

                  clearly, this doesn't apply in the case of abortion for minors, since they are pregnant (a real condition), and abortion is a legitimate medical procedure.

                  I notice that you are using the word "condition" which is rather vague, rather than illness, disease, injury, etc.

                  That is presumably because you can't shoehorn a normal pregnancy into any of the normal categories that we expect medical treatment for.

                  But don't you think that having sexual impulses that make you uncomfortable or that you are not happy about is a disorder at least when your unhappiness reaches a certain level of intensity?  That seems much more accurately a disorder than a normal pregnancy is.

                  So now you are left with the issue of whether a treatment is "legitimate" or not.  I'm not sure how you define "legitimate" but I think it is pretty clear that a large minority of Americans consider abortion not to be legitimate and that a majority consider certain types of abortion (ie. partial birth abortion, late term abortion) to be illegitimate.

                  Finally, note that the California bill is a bit more extreme than even that.

                  It does not prohibit a particular method of trying to change sexual orientation.  It prohibits any attempt to change sexual orientation using any method at all, whether or not such a method works.

                  For example, if you agree that homosexuality is controlled by genes that in turn control brain chemistry and/or morphology then a medical intervention to change sexual orientation (in either direction) is at least theoretically possible.  Such a treatment could be safe and effective.

                  Do you think a law that bans such a treatment would be Constitutional?

                  As far as I can tell, the California law would ban such a treatment.

          •  you could and you would be wrong (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan

            abortion is safer than childbirth

          •  Strawman! (3+ / 0-)
            I could write the same thing about abortion
            making the point that it is done to healthy pregnant women who have no disease or disorder of any kind.
            in both cases you're talking about a medical procedure. abortion is an accepted, safe procedure, with commonly accepted standards of practice in the industry. "pray away the gay therapy" is not. it's based on a false underlying premise: that being gay is decision based, rather than genetic in nature. as such (per its proponents), it's a sign of mental illness and, with the appropriate "treatment" can be "cured", just like other mental illnesses can be. or at least ameliorated. both fly in the face of the actual professional regulating bodies of psychology/psychiatry, that removed homosexuality from the list of deemed mental disorders some 40 years ago. as it was, their inclusion to begin with was always based on highly questionable "research", whose results were never able to be duplicated elsewhere.

            pregnancy, on the other hand, is an actual medical condition, abortion is an actual, legitimate medical procedure. when performed by a competent professional, in an appropriate medical environment, it is 99.99999% safe. that you assume these women are perfectly healthy, and have no disease or disorder doesn't make it so; just because you can't see it, doesn't, by definition, mean it isn't there.

      •  Oy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, stormicats

        Go back to your law school case books. In the real world, judges aren't blind to the fact that this is a professional standards issue and not a "ban." They are going to look at that much differently and take the word of the experts in the field much more seriously.

        The best analogy is pharmacists who don't hand out birth control, not any of yours. In both these cases, no one is compelling anyone to believe anything—they're just saying you can't be a therapist and do this.

        It doesn't stop clergy from doing it and I think that's the key here.

        Every 1L can cook up some constitutional challenge to every law ever passed. In this case, before you even get there you have to answer if all of those rules apply to professional certification. They do, but not in the same way as general bans.

        Anyway, you can list a million precedents, but at the end of the day, the California Supreme Court as currently constituted will uphold this law.

        GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

        by Attorney at Arms on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:45:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Banning snake oil is banning snake oil (0+ / 0-)

        There's really no difference here.

        This is a crappy, lousy, stupid, harmful and scientifically invalid concept and so the state has the right to ban malpractitioners from using it.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:55:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's nothing more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      than an attempt to force their religious views on everyone. The Christian Taliban in full sail.

      "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

      by azureblue on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 08:39:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One thing more. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, spacecadet1

        This is a predictable behavior in the "paranoid style." They will use the courts to file frivolous lawsuits because they think that's how Roe v. Wade was decided. They're like, "ha! I can file a dumb lawsuit and change the law too!"

        It makes them feel better and keeps their victimhood intact when they lose. Honestly, I don't know where these people get their energy.

        GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

        by Attorney at Arms on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:48:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The sad thing is they cause so many other (0+ / 0-)

          people to waste their energy fighting stupidity rather than allowing the nation to move forward to other issues and problems.

          It is holding the nation back.

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:58:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, this is not thru playing out by a long shot. (11+ / 0-)

    It's going to be whether the parental rights outweigh the child's. That type of friction is probably going to be another long court battle.

    •  This is about medical malpractice, (4+ / 0-)

      not parental rights.    Parents are still free to take their kid to their local witch doctor or priest to exorcise the gay demon.

      The law only concerns licensed mental health therapists.

    •  Americans have a bizarre belief (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      XenuLives, skrekk, sfbob

      that they have the right to the treatment of their choice, even if it is experimental, ineffective, expensive, or proven to be dangerous. For some reason most people believe that the more experimental, expensive, risky, or hard to get a treatment is, the more anecdotal the "evidence", the more unqualified the proponent, the more likely the chance of success. And they expect their insurance to pay for it.

      And of course, doctors are more than happy to provide expensive treatments to patients who could be returned to health with a simple lifestyle change or inexpensive drug that has been in use for a century.

      This is one reason why health care is so expensive in our country, as people demand expensive experimental treatments and surgeries with a very low chance of success.

      Would you consider an exorcism to be something a parent has the right to demand from a psychologist?

  •  FREEEEE-DUMMMMMMMMM! (7+ / 0-)

    Of course the only "freedom" they want is the right to be bigoted assholes practicing bigotry dressed up as "religion". Thanks for the head's up. It'll be interesting to see who joins them in these lawsuits. I'm sure they're going to get some interesting outside parties helping them. Groups like NOM, etc. are probably foaming at the mouth over this law.

    If we got Mitt to be slightly less dishonest and gave him some personality he could pass as a used car salesman.

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:47:31 PM PDT

  •  Calling these people Quacks (17+ / 0-)

    is insult to ducks.

    You rarely find a story that says two stoners beat each other up outside of a bar.

    by jparnell on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:52:24 PM PDT

  •  It should fall under the classification (6+ / 0-)

    of cruel and unusual punishment since that is the best realistic description of the whole inhumane ordeal that's inflicted on the children.  It's psychological and mental abuse.

    Chief neoconservative/fundamentalist allied belief: All things are possible if only you lie.

    by blueoasis on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 03:56:17 PM PDT

  •  On the WA State marriage equality referendum (11+ / 0-)

    I've been telling opponents to "Lose the hate - you'll feel calmer and maybe even increase their chance of getting into Heaven."

    This anti-gay stuff is just plain hateful, sick, and sad.

    We're ALL better off when we're ALL better off!

    by susanWAstate on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:08:29 PM PDT

  •  These, of course, are the frivolous lawsuits (15+ / 0-)

    the Right Wing always complains about. I think this is more to influence a NO vote on the proposition not to accept the lines the Independent Commission drew for the State Senate, but I don't think that will work either.

    Spend the money, NARTH and Pacific Justice. It's not going to do any good.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 04:10:18 PM PDT

  •  But where will we get future FBI agents from? (5+ / 0-)

    Why don't we hear of programs to pray out the stupid?

  •  no surprise there. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IB JOHN, pico

    there are some moderately interesting conlaw issues in play.

    •  Not really. (12+ / 0-)

      No one is prohibited from practicing their religion. They just can't advertise religion as "therapy" for an abnormality that doesn't actually exist in modern psychiatry or claim that "pray the gay away" is scientifically sound. Professional associations must be able to maintain their standards and not be held hostage to individual religious beliefs. Otherwise it's a very slippery slope and we all end up in the 1850s.


      Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

      by jayden on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 06:06:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Equipment. (0+ / 0-)

        I just can't figure it out. If what makes you come requires the same equipment your partner has, you're therefore a lousy parent. No one has ever been able to explain the connection to me.

        •  It has to do with homophobia, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice, sfbob

          which is not fear of gay people, but a fear of being gay. They feel the need to eradicate gayness from our culture to the maximum of their legal abilities, because they know if it reaches a certain level they will have no choice but to leave their loveless marriages and run off with a rentboy.

          And since this is God they answer to, not the law, it doesn't matter if the treatment is totally ineffective, or if it results in suicides. At least they tried, and they get points for that. If gay people die, that's fine with them.

      •  I looked at this from the abuse angle but your (0+ / 0-)

        explanation is better. Maybe you read the law, as I haven't.

        "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

        by shmuelman on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 10:00:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Only partially agree: (3+ / 0-)

      I think the question of whether the religious freedom of parents to raise their children (because that's the limit of this law's reach, and already a sticky issue, constitutionally) can be extended to regulation and licensing of medical health professionals might be enough to get something interesting out of, but Liberty Counsel's press release also reads the law much more expansively than its actual text.  Here's the statement from their press release:

      The law defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as any practice that is designed to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction. Such broad language will prohibit any counseling that does not affirm and encourage experimentation with or acceptance of same-sex attractions, regardless of whether those feelings and attractions are unwanted by the counselee.
      Here's the actual text of the law:
      (b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
      (2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.
      So their first sentence is more-or-less right, but their second sentence is incorrect on the face of it.  They're going to have to tailor their claim much more narrowly if they want to be taken seriously in court.

      Meanwhile the Keystone Cops over at PJI have nothing concrete in their press release other than "This unprecedented bill is outrageously unconstitutional."  Whatever that means.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:41:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's an obvious equal protection issue here (0+ / 0-)
        This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
        Note that this law specifically prohibits efforts to reduce same sex romantic attractions or feelings but not opposite sex romantic attractions or feelings.

        I wonder why they wrote it that way.

        •  Maybe because (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice, sfbob

          There isn't religious/social bigotry aimed at heterosexuals, and thus no need to force the child out of an 'abnormal' or 'sinful' lifestyle?

          Maybe that's just me, but I don't see a big industry for turning someone's heterosexual child into a queer child.  But I'll be happy to withdraw my comments should anyone find such a place.

          My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. We still miss you Jack, we'll make you proud.

          by BC Progressive on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 12:30:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It is recognition of the fact that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wilderness voice

          despite the "gay agenda" belief of wingnut christianists, everybody knows that nobody is trying to change the sexual orientation of straights.

          •  Not a good response to an equal protection (0+ / 0-)

            argument.

            •  Simple response: (0+ / 0-)

              the text of the bill as written is not exclusive of the treatments you're describing.  The section you think has an Equal Protection problem begins with "this includes" rather than "this consists of", so the limits on the bill's application are not defined against an Equal Protection charge.  The limits of the bill are defined by "any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation", inclusive, no Equal Protection violation.

              So why'd they write it this way, to call attention to one type and not the other?  Because one type exists and the other does not.  But the statute as written would prohibit even your hypothetical example by a plain reading of its provisions.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:48:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't think you are right (0+ / 0-)
                (b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
                Although seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation in either direction is prohibited, it appears that the law prohibits seeking to "eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex" but not to the opposite sex.
                •  I don't see that in the text: (0+ / 0-)

                  I see two statements there:

                  "Sexual orientation change efforts" means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation.
                  This line is inclusive, and makes no distinction between opposite- or same-sex counseling.
                  This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
                  This line is an example of, rather than a definition of, the extent of this law.  "Includes" is the operative word; compare a hypothetical that doesn't make this distinction:
                  Sexual orientation change efforts" means any practices by mental health providers that seek to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.
                  If the law were worded like this, I'd agree with you.  But I think "includes" is typically read as "can be, but is not limited to", which makes all the difference.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 06:14:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There you get into the rules for textual analysis (0+ / 0-)

                    of laws.

                    In general, courts interpret laws based on the assumption that every word means something - that law makers are not just including something as an interesting aside.

                    That means that if a law specifically states that it applies to X but does not state that it applies to Y it is usually interpreted to mean that it does not apply to Y.

                    This is an exact example of such a case.

                    The law specifically includes efforts to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions to members of the same sex but says nothing about the opposite sex.

                    •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

                      The law specifically applies to "any" attempts to change sexual orientation, full stop: you can't ignore the first sentence of the statute as if it doesn't exist.

                      What you're referring to is a type of law that says it applies to X, wherein we wouldn't apply it to Y.  But that's not what this statute does: it says "All sets, including X".  Y is included as a member of the set defined in the first sentence.  

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:48:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Not really. (5+ / 0-)

      No one is prohibited from practicing anything.

      It is mischaracterized as a "ban" in the press.

      They risk losing a professional license.

      Just as a medical doctor would risk losing their professional license for treating cancer with leeches. No one would say there were any constitutional issues with that.

      Supporter: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" Adlai Stevenson: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

      by Scott Wooledge on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:49:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You just compared homosexuality to cancer (0+ / 0-)

        but leaving that aside, actually a doctor would not automatically lose his license for treating cancer with leeches.  In fact, leeches are commonly used to treat disorders that prevent blood from draining from extremities, especially fingers and toes, and in some cases that might include cancer.

        Can you point to any other state laws that single out particular therapies or treatments and state that professionals who use them on patients are subject to loss of their licenses?

        As far as I know, issues of malpractice or incompetent practice are usually handled through disciplinary boards when complaints are made based on the treatment being inappropriate for that particular patient, not based on blanket bans enacted by the legislature.

        I think this law is on very shaky Constitutional ground at best.

  •  Conservative freedoms: (5+ / 0-)

    "States' rights."
    "Religious freedom."
    "Corporate personhood."

    Summary of the conservative view of freedom: Powerful groups must have the freedom to oppress individuals. Otherwise, it's tyranny!

  •  It won't work. (6+ / 0-)

    Courts value evidence. They will come in with their witchcraft and quackery and the judiciary won't be at all impressed.

    Supporter: "Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!" Adlai Stevenson: "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 09:44:42 PM PDT

  •  Conversion... (5+ / 0-)

    Envy time I hear these idiot conservatives hammer on us their gimmick du jour to convert gays, I think of this one:

    Each Friday night after work, sun, snow or rain, Jack would fire up his outdoor grill and cook a moose steak.
    But, all of Jack's neighbors were Catholic. And since it was Lent, they were forbidden from eating meat on Friday.

    The delicious aroma from the grilled moose steaks was causing such a problem for the Catholic faithful that they finally talked to their priest. The priest came to visit Jack, and suggested that he become a Catholic.

    After several classes and much study, Jack attended Mass, and as the priest sprinkled holy  water over him, he said: "You were born a Protestant and raised a Protestant, but now you are a Catholic."

    Jack's neighbors were greatly relieved, until Friday night arrived, and the wonderful aroma of grilled moose filled the neighborhood. The priest was called immediately by the neighbors, and, as he rushed into Jack's yard, clutching a rosary and prepared to scold him, he stopped and watched in amazement.

    There stood Jack, clutching a small bottle of holy water which he carefully sprinkled over the grilling meat and chanted: "You wuz born a moose, you wuz raised a moose, but now you is a Codfish"

  •  It is their right to challenge this law (0+ / 0-)

    just as people have challenged just about every law.
    Truly I was surprised to see this bill signed into law, because very special deference is paid to people's religious beliefs, even if they are way outside of mainstream beliefs. And I agree that is how it should be.
    On the other hand, it is not legal to endanger minors by substituting prayer for medical treatment, though these days, it may be all that many people can afford. And this kind of "treatment" (for a disease that doesn't exist) has no doubt shown to be substantially harmful to the victim and it amounts to no more than abuse.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 09:58:25 AM PDT

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