The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a California ban on “conversion therapy” for minors, letting stand a lower federal court ruling that upheld the state law passed in 2012.
The appeal challenging the ban was filed by a Christian minister in San Diego and others, who argued that the law violated their rights to religious freedom.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco had previously upheld the California law as constitutional. The Supreme Court justices did not comment Monday in refusing to hear the appeal, according to the Associated Press.
It was the second time the Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to the California law.
Conversion therapy, also referred to as “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy,” are treatments that historically have targeted the LGBT community and claim to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Highly controversial, the practice has been decried by dozens of mental health, medical and LGBT rights groups as harmful and misleading. Nevertheless, attempts to ban it at the state or national level have repeatedly been met with resistance from conservative religious groups, which argue that such bans would infringe on their First Amendment rights.
The debate over conversion therapy is likely to remain in the spotlight after Democratic lawmakers last week introduced a bill that would ban the practice nationwide for those younger than 18 years old.
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.