U.S. appeals court upholds New Jersey’s gay-to-straight conversion therapy ban

In Trenton, NJ today, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling and New Jersey’s ban on gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors.

The law prevents a licensed therapist, psychologist, social worker or counselor from using sexual orientation change efforts on children younger than 18.

According to the three-judge panel, the law does not violate freedom of speech or religion and the state has substantial interest in regulating the speech of professionals dealing with mental health to protect the public.

Days after Governor Chris Christie signed the ban into law, opponents filed suit. They claimed the law violated their responsibility to their clients who wanted the treatment (you know, the minors that were unable to consent and typically forced into therapy by their parents).

Supporters, on the other hand, cited scientific reports by the American Psychological Association and other professional organizations that question the efficacy of the treatment and criticize the practice as emotionally demoralizing and damaging.

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