The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal challenging California’s 2012 ban on “gay conversion” therapy. The law, signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, became the first of its kind, barring the so-called therapy that aims to change the sexual orientation of patients under 18. Plaintiff Donald Welch had argued that the California law not only suppresses conservative religious beliefs and practices, but also interferes with a minister’s right to provide spiritual counseling to minors. Arguing for the ban, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a statement that “the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case of Welch v. Brown is good news for thousands of LGBT youth nationwide, especially those in states without conversion therapy bans.” This is the second time in three years that the court has refused to hear a challenge to the law and means that the ruling made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the ban will stay in place.
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