Similar Ban Passed in Oregon in 2015
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
issued a decision that strikes down bans on therapy for minors struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction, saying such bans violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Bans on conversion therapy have been upheld in the 9th and 3rd Circuits, creating a split among them and a possible path to the US Supreme Court, which has previously declined to hear these cases. The decision states, “We hold that the challenged ordinances violate the First Amendment because they are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny.” The Cities of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County, Florida ordinances apply to “any person who is licensed by the State of Florida to provide professional counseling,” except for clergy.
The plaintiffs, therapists Robert W. Otto and Julie H. Hamilton, are licensed marriage and family therapists who provide counseling to minors who have unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted gender identity issues. The case and decision were based on content-based restrictions on speech.
While the plaintiffs argue a lack of freedom to speak with their clients that brings out a certain amount of discrimination, it avoids the lopsided treatment of one therapy over another. Both ordinances banned “conversion therapy” but allowed trans-affirmative therapy and counseling that provides support and assistance to a person undergoing gender transition.
In 2015, Oregon became the third state to ban Conversion Therapy on minors after then President Obama called for the ban. In calling for the ban, barbaric and unethical practices were cited that were no longer being practiced. Nonetheless, Oregon joined California, New Jersey and Washington D.C. in prohibiting licensed therapists from attempting to encourage sexual orientation or gender identity that is biological to a child. This came after the Supreme Court declined to hear challenges in California and New Jersey, leaving in place a decision that upheld the ban.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Governor Brown signed ORS 675.850
into law without fanfare prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy (reparative therapy). The law “prohibits mental health care professionals and social health professionals from providing any service to person under 18 years of age for purpose of attempting to change person's sexual orientation or gender identity.” Equality and Justice for All testified
to the lopsidedness of HB 2307
, passed in 2015, allowing sexual orientation change effort therapy while prohibiting conversion therapy. They cite a 100-year scientific research of a comprehensive review of SOCE documenting success that shows that therapy has helped some clients resolve their unwanted same-sex attraction and experience heterosexual attractions.
The case ruled as unconstitutional in federal court is very similar to Oregon law. Where does Oregon legislative leadership hold the “total care” of children, and will we see a reversal in the 2021 legislative session?
Photo by Bill Mason on Unsplash.com
|Post Date: 2020-11-23 07:49:28||Last Update: 2020-11-23 15:27:44|