Friday, August 30, 2013

Court upholds California psychotherapy ban

I have posted before about a California law limiting psychotherapist free speech, and now there is an appealls court ruling. AP reports:
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court sided with California on Thursday and upheld the first law in the nation banning a psychological treatment that seeks to turn gay youth straight.

In a resounding, unanimous opinion, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the state law barring the so-called gay aversion therapy legal in every respect.

The judges said trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation through intense therapy appeared dangerous, and that California lawmakers properly showed that the sexual orientation change efforts were outside the scientific mainstream and have been rejected for good reason.

“One could argue that children under the age of 18 are especially vulnerable with respect to sexual identity and that their parents’ judgment may be clouded by this emotionally charged issue as well,” Judge Susan Graber wrote for the court panel.
Sound convincing? Here is what the opinion actually said about Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (“SOCE”):
In particular, the legislature relied on a report created by
a Task Force of the American Psychological Association. That report resulted from a systematic review of the scientific literature on SOCE. Methodological problems with some of the reviewed studies limited the conclusions that the Task Force could draw. Nevertheless, the report concluded that SOCE practitioners have not demonstrated the efficacy of SOCE and that anecdotal reports of harm raise serious concerns about the safety of SOCE.
I do not have any personal knowledge whether SOCE works or not. But lets compare this to other therapies. A local child get put on Risperdal, but order of family court quacks. That drug is so dangerous that late-night TV has ads from law firms seeking users for class action lawsuits. (Update: They say to dial 1-800-BAD-DRUG.)

Most, if not all, of the common psychotherapies have not had their efficacy demonstrated, and have anecdotal reports of harm. I would not mind seeing them all banned. No one ever showed that SOCE is any worse than the others.

This is a direct attack on parents being able to use their own judgment in the upbringing of their kids. California schools how require teaching LGBT history and values in all grades, and soon it will be illegal for a parent to tell his own child that it is better to be straight.

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