Supreme Court rejects legal challenge to gay conversion ban

(Alex Wong, Getty Images)
(Alex Wong, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/30 1:29 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The sponsor of a California law that bans so-called conversion therapy, that is aimed at turning gay minors straight, is welcoming a Supreme Court decision Monday to reject a legal challenge to the ban.

The justices, without comment, let stand an appeals court ruling that said the ban doesn't violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.

State Sen. Ted Lieu said it's a victory for "child welfare, science and basic humane principles" against what he calls the "quackery of gay conversion therapy."

The law says professional therapists and counselors, who use treatments designed to eliminate or reduce same-sex attractions in their patients, would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards.

The chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal aid group that had challenged the law, says he's "deeply saddened" by the court's decision. Mat Staver said, "The minors we represent do not want to act on same-sex attractions."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar ban last year, and Liberty Counsel has been fighting that law as well.

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