The conservative Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) has joined the Liberty Counsel in calling for a lawsuit challenging California’s new ban on ex-gay therapy for minors. PJI helped the ex-gay professional network NARTH oppose the bill, so it’s no surprise that PJI president Brad Dacus parroted NARTH’s claim that sexual abuse can cause homosexuality:
DACUS: Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our legislature the last several years, this is among the worst. This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church. We are filing suit to defend families, children, and religious freedom. This unprecedented bill is outrageously unconstitutional.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Executive Director Kate Kendell released the following statement countering the proposed lawsuits:
KENDELL: This lawsuit is a desperate, last ditch effort to defend the indefensible. The plain fact is that every mainstream medical and mental health association in the country has warned that these practices are ineffective and dangerous. The state has a clear duty to protect minors from harm, and that is exactly what this law does. NCLR is committed to doing all we can to defend this law while, at the same time, we work to pass similar laws in other states. We will not rest until this “quackery,” as Governor Brown has called this practice, is illegal throughout our nation.
It’s also misleading for Dacus to claim that “mental health professionals who work in a church” will be impacted. Only licensed or credentialed counselors fall under the jurisdiction of the law, so individuals who offer ex-gay therapy in the context of an unlicensed ministry will be unaffected.