I am gob smacked today when my local medical newspaper reported that California law “SB 1172”: a law passed to protect minors from gay “conversion therapy” practitioners, has been overturned by Judge William Shubb. As noted in Medical Observer:
The law states that therapists and counsellors who use “sexual orientation change efforts” on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards. It is set to take effect from 1 January.
US District Court Judge William Shubb on Monday ruled the First Amendment rights of mental health professionals outweighed concern that “conversion therapy” posed a danger to young people. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and other basic rights.
“Even if SB 1172 is characterised as primarily aimed at regulating conduct, it also extends to forms of [ conversion therapy ] that utilise speech and, at a minimum, regulates conduct that has an incidental effect on speech,”
So have I gotten this right? A counsellor or psychologist is allowed to use any form of crackpot theory, no matter how flawed, no matter how potentially dangerous simply because it’s their “First Amendment” right to say whatever drivel they want?
As a doctor, if I practiced in a dangerous way, in a harmful way, including exercising my “freedom of speech” offering potentially harmful advice I would have my license revoked.
Apparently if the people conversion therapy advocates are harming are young homosexual questioning men and women it’s ok. Sounds like homophobia to anyone?
This sucks. I hope that Judge WIllam Shubb is asked to explain his findings to the parents of children who have taken their lives after the homophobic advise of conversion therapy “practitioners”.
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