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According to an article in today's Los Angeles Daily Journal (hidden behind a pay wall, of course), a California law that "prohibits licensed psychotherapists from counseling gay minors on how to become heterosexual" is facing a test.

Quotes and thoughts below the Orange Squiggle of Power.

The article is short (less than 10 column inches), but it says that U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller held a hearing on the 1st Amendment implications of the law.

There are 4 'counselors' and sets of parents who are suing to overturn the law, saying it has helped their children.  They do not specify in the article on what that help has been or how it was achieved, of course.  The attorney named in the article says that banning these practices is  a bad idea, because it "would force young people who do not want to be gay to turn to unlicensed counselors."

Cart?  Horse?  Which goes first?

The law, which was passed by the California Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October, states that mental health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, family counselors, psychiatrists who use 'sexual orientation change efforts' on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards.
Attorneys are arguing semantics and meaning, debating the definition of 'sets of actions' and free speech.

No decision was noted in the article.

This is the first I had even heard about this law, which I consider a great idea, and a necessity.  If I hear more, I will report back.

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Comment Preferences

  •  going to a therapist to talk about sex (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman, commonmass

    is like going to a horse to talk about a man.

    fucking is healthy, but everything about fucking is a sympton. i've had therapists of both genders get pissed off because i went to therapy for therapy, refused to discuss sexuality, and never became attracted to them, which is apparently the sign of a healthy relationship with a therapist, according to therapists.

    When people don't recognize your generousity for what it is, and take advantage of you. When they don't admit, you don't owe them anything, They are the worst pieces of shit on earth

    by Marcellus Shale on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:40:54 PM PST

    •  Our therapist is "sex positive" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marcellus Shale

      Which means she's open to talking about sex if we want to. That doesn't bother me. But when it comes to sex and talking, I have always believed that Emily Post was right: it's not polite to talk with your mouth full.

    •  I'm half convinced the suicidal ideation rate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marcellus Shale

      as self-reported in the asexual community is so damn high because it's nearly impossible for us to get help for depression or anxiety or whatever else have you without our orientation being defined as an important symptom to work on, if not as has been reported in a few cases the ONLY symptom that was going to be worked on, the second the mental health professional realizes he or she is dealing with someone who has no sex life and doesn't necessarily want one.

      Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

      by Cassandra Waites on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:08:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  During my most intensive therapy. (0+ / 0-)

        my orientation, and my genderfluid kicker weren't  recognized as real. The complicating factor for me, was knowing that my notes would be read by people I know and dislike socially(mutual). Its tough living in a mental health monopoly. Its even tougher when you have unique identifiers. More complicated is when some of the people who you MIGHT be associated with by motivated snoops, have their own issues.

        I owned everything I said and did years ago. I got better on my own without medication. Who I am is now recognized as valid by at least some people. The only trauma left is when people want me to, or try to induce me to, or exert pressure, to make me talk about the past.

        When people don't recognize your generousity for what it is, and take advantage of you. When they don't admit, you don't owe them anything, They are the worst pieces of shit on earth

        by Marcellus Shale on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:37:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  wow (4+ / 0-)

    i'm a california resident. and gay married. to a state-licensed therapist.

    missed this completely -- many thanks. this is well worth keeping an eye on.

    "everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey." -john lennon

    by homo neurotic on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:42:58 PM PST

  •  It would be fair to ask the minors... (8+ / 0-)

    to what extent their parents coerced them into accepting "treatment" for the "illness" of homosexuality.

    Really I call BS on the the litigation that attacks this law on "free speech" and "religious freedom" grounds.

    Nobody is entitled to receive therapy that doesn't do what it claims to do. There is no credible evidence that so called "reparation therapies" have any effect on sexual orientation; what seems pretty clear, at least anecdotally, is that it makes the recipients feel even worse about themselves. Accounts of people being subjected to such treatments, either as children or as adults, and consequently feeling as though they have "failed" because they weren't "cured" are widespread.

    If parents want to tell their kids they are going to burn in hell because they are gay or lesbian, I suppose they have that right, abhorrent as such a thing might be. So there is no issue of free speech.

    If people want to pray away their sexual orientation, or to tell their kids to pray away THEIR sexual orientation, there is nothing in the law that prevents them from doing so. What the law does is to limit what forms of therapy a licensed practitioner can administer to a minor; there is ample precedent for such regulations. In fact, it's difficult to understand how one can invoke "religious freedom" when objecting to a law that regulates psychotherapy. There's religion on the one hand and therapy on the other. While it is not inconceivable that a therapist could make use of a client's religious beliefs in the service of affecting a method of treatment, administering religion in order to treat a health condition is quite a different matter.

    There is, finally, the claim that the law prevents some folks from practicing their religion--specifically practicing their religion on their kids. While parents have a great deal of latitude as to how they raise their children, there are limits. There are laws relating to the welfare of children and with good reason. You can berate your kids, but you can't subject them to abuse while using "medicine" as a cover. And that is as it should be.

  •  Funny: in the largely rural state of Maine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Killer of Sacred Cows

    gay is just another way to be, married or not (marriage law takes effect Dec. 9) but in California, there are still people trying to treat homosexuality as a sickness despite the law.

    Frankly, I find that amusing. Horrifying, but amusing.

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