Liberty Counsel Petitions Supreme Court on Change Therapy Ban

Feb 6, 2014

Washington, DC—Today, Liberty Counsel filed a Petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Pickup v. Brown, Liberty Counsel’s case on behalf of counselors who are providing and youth who are receiving counsel to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, and identity.

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the California law that bans change therapy. The decision drew strong dissent by three judges. This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Liberty Counsel’s motion to stay the decision pending Supreme Court review. The law therefore remains blocked pending the appeal.

Liberty Counsel represents parents and their children who are receiving and benefiting from change counsel, four licensed mental health professionals who practice change counsel, the National Association for Research and Therapy on Homosexuality, and the American Association for Christian Counselors.

“Change therapy bans are a flagrant violation of a client’s right to self-determination,” says Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This is an unprecedented government intrusion into personal healthcare and counseling choices. Driven by ideology and not science, this law banning change counseling will seriously harm children and their parents,” says Staver.

The Supreme Court will make a decision whether to review this case later this year before the end of the Term in June 2014.

Liberty Counsel has filed two similar cases on change therapy in New Jersey, King v. Christie and Doe v. Christie. Change therapy bans have also been proposed in Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin. In Virginia, a change therapy bill died in subcommittee. Liberty Counsel is communicating with these legislators, but “if legislation passes in other states and minors and counselors ask for our help, we will file similar lawsuits,” says Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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