A federal judge (Judge William B. Shubb) has blocked a ban in California that made it illegal for licensed mental health professionals to provide sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) to minors. Here is the link. The ruling apparently only covers the three plaintiffs and not other mental health professionals. According to the LA Times, the judge noted that the ban was “based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies that may not have included minors.” Here is the decision itself.
That was yesterday. Today, a different judge (Judge Kimberly Mueller) handed down a decidedly different decision (not to postpone the law) on a separate case brought by different plaintiffs – that story is here.
As I mentioned in previous posts available here and here, there are several problems with the ban, including the scientific evidence on this kind of therapy on teens, as noted in the first ruling mentioned above. As important as that may be, there are issues with venue, precedent, and scope in the language of the ban itself. In any case, it is interesting that the scientific evidence was apparently not a point of focus in the other ruling, and I am sure many stakeholders will be keeping an eye on the developments in this area.