November 19, 2012
Liberty Counsel’s Court Filings Reveal Flaws in California’s Ban on Change Therapy
Sacramento, CA – Liberty Counsel filed its reply legal arguments and rebuttal declarations in federal court in its challenge to the new law (SB 1172) that bans any counseling to diminish or eliminate same-sex sexual attractions. Liberty Counsel represents several parents and their children who are receiving and benefiting from such counseling; several licensed counselors who provide such counsel; the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH); and the American Association for Christian Counselors (AACC), an organization with about 50,000 professional counseling members.
“This law places the state between the client and the counselor,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This law intrudes on the fundamental right of self-determination to seek counseling that aligns with the client’s religious and moral values. This law forces counselors to overrule their clients who choose to prioritize their religious or moral values above unwanted same-sex sexual attractions,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel filed a federal lawsuit against SB 1172 on October 4, 2012. Representing the state defendants, the California Attorney General filed its opposition to the suit and added declarations from two purported experts seeking to justify the law. Liberty Counsel filed its reply legal arguments and thoroughly rebutted the two declarations filed by the defendants. The issue is not a battle of experts, and, if it was, California’s experts woefully fail to justify such an intrusive law. This issue is the state injecting itself between the counselor and the client and forcing the client to receive only one viewpoint on same-sex attractions. California has no compelling or empirical reason to justify SB 1172. This law is politically, not scientifically, motivated. The state has no right to force counselors to provide and clients to receive only one viewpoint on same-sex attractions.
“This law is an astounding violation of the right to free speech and religious liberty. Clients have the right to receive information that aligns with their values, and counselors have the right and the duty to provide information to help the clients in pursuit of their right to self-determination. Under SB 1172, a young boy sexually molested by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky who develops an identity crisis, emotional stress, and who begins to experience unwanted same-sex attractions, will be further hurt by a law that deprives him and his family the option of receiving counsel that aligns with his religious and moral beliefs,” Staver concluded.
A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled in Sacramento federal court on November 30, 2012. SB 1172 becomes effective on January 1, 2013.
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