“Ending ‘Gay Conversion’ for Good”

An interesting point of view in a NYT opinion piece by a Yale law student, Jacob K. Victor — interesting, because Victor points out that “deceptive practices” lawsuits, rather than state legislation, are the most effective means of stopping “gay conversion” therapists. And he explains why:

The [state by state] bans tread on a volatile question: the degree to which the First Amendment protects speech uttered by professionals, like doctors and lawyers, in the course of their work.

While the Ninth Circuit found that the California ban regulated “professional conduct” that is not protected by the First Amendment, dissenting judges pointed to a 2010 Supreme Court case, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, that implied that the First Amendment’s protections could not be ignored simply by relabeling activities that involve speech as “conduct.” If the Supreme Court declines to hear the California case (in which case the ban will automatically take effect), this terrain will remain unsettled.

There is a more promising way to put pressure on, or even shut down, conversion programs: existing state laws that forbid businesses and professionals to engage in deceptive practices.

Take a read: Ending ‘Gay Conversion’ for Good – NYTimes.com.

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