Judge upholds rights of ‘gay cure’ quacks

Judge upholds rights of ‘gay cure’ quacks

SHORTLY after the start of a lawsuit supported by a Christian legal group – the Pacific Justice Institute – a Californian judge with the reputation of being a “nutcase”, ruled yesterday that the First Amendment rights of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals who engage in wholly discredited  “reparative” or “conversion” therapy outweigh concern that the practice poses a danger to young people.

According to this report, US District Court Judge William Shubb, pictured above, who was nominated for the bench by George H W Bush, temporarily blocked California from enforcing a first-of-its-kind law that bars licensed psychotherapists from working to change the sexual orientation of gay minors

But he limited the scope of his order to just the three charlatans who appealed to him to overturn the measure.

The judge disputed the California Legislature’s finding that trying to change young people’s sexual orientation puts them at risk for suicide or depression, saying it was based on “questionable and scientifically incomplete studies”.

The law, which was passed by the state Legislature and signed by Gov Jerry Brown in October, states that therapists and counselors who use “sexual orientation change efforts” on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards. It is set to take effect on January 1.

Although the ruling is a setback for the law’s supporters, the judge softened the impact of his decision by saying that it applies only to three individuals — psychiatrist Anthony Duk, marriage and family therapist Donald Welch, and Aaron Bitzer, a former patient who is studying to become a counselor who specialises in clients who are unhappy being gay.

The exemption for them will remain in place only until Shubb can hold a trial on the merits of their case, although in granting their request for an injunction, the judge noted he thinks they would prevail in getting the law struck down on constitutional grounds.

National Center for Lesbian Rights Legal Director Shannon Minter said:

We are disappointed by the ruling, but very pleased that the temporary delay in implementing this important law applies only to the three plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit. We are confident that as the case progresses, it will be clear to the court that this law is fundamentally no different than many other laws that regulate health care professionals to protect patients.

Lawyers for the state argue that outlawing reparative therapy is appropriate because it would protect young people from a practice that has been rejected as unproven and potentially harmful by all the mainstream mental health associations.

15 responses to “Judge upholds rights of ‘gay cure’ quacks”

  1. JohnMWhite says:

    The idea that unfounded and unsafe medical practice should be allowed to continue because of the first amendment makes zero sense. Should we let doctors continue to prescribe mercury because they should have the freedom of speech to offer profoundly stupid advice?

    As ever, religion is used as a bludgeon against the vulnerable in society, particularly children, and the right to practice public piety and try to force children to be good, straight Christians is far more important than making children feel safe, secure, and loved for who they are. This is what Christianity is. This is how they choose to enact their faith. By their works, we know them.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    Sorry – totally OT.

    I have been recently exchanging some differences of opinion with old Birdshit.

    He censored my last comment about the long list of things he seems to oppose in life, and emailed me to explain that “We deal in argument, not insult, laddie, so when you have something intelligent to say we’ll look at it.”

    As my reply pointed out to him, You say you don’t deal in insults, but then promptly call me ‘laddie’? The man has the intelligence of a breeze block and the debating skills of a broken ashtray.

  3. JohnMWhite says:

    Green looks astonishingly like my old head teacher, and he was a cowardly bully too, fixated on controlling others and unable to handle being challenged or corrected, too. It’s what his faith (and crushing, endless fear) has made him. Though I love this line from him:

    “I guess it is inevitable that atheists prefer myth to cold hard fact.”

    He owes me a new irony meter.

  4. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac/JMW: I have asked Birdshit which comment he found “insulting”, as he seems to be replying to MY question there. We were discussing this correspondence on a previous thread, actually!

    Some more encouraging news from the USA:

    Maybe the judge will be overruled. I see that that hopeless case who praised burglars for their courage has received a rap on the knuckles, and rightly so. It’s funny how they change their tune when they themselves are the victims of crime!

  5. AgentCormac says:


    Sadly, you won’t be able to read what Birdshit actually found ‘insulting’ on his website because the lilly-livered cretin refused to publish it. Just so you know, it was along the lines of ‘you seem to have a problem with just about everything in life, but then I’m hardly surprised if you will believe in a book that’s full of malice and follow a god who is violent and judgemental’.

    Personally, I thought that it was a fair appraisal. Steve, however, clearly felt that I had overstepped some invisible (just like his friend) line and maligned his sensibilities to a degree that made my comment somehow unpublishable. (Either that or he didn’t have an answer to what I said. But I’ll let you be the judge of that one.)

  6. barriejohn says:

    That’s why it makes no sense then. I get really pissed off with these sites that moderate all comments – they’re a waste of time!

  7. jay says:

    The CNN article wording seems to clarify this a bit and suggest where the 1A comes into his reasoning:

    “U.S. District Judge William Shubb ruled Monday that the ban Gov. Jerry Brown signed earlier this year could offend the First Amendment rights of therapists to express their opinions about homosexuality.”

    The resolution of that issue will have to split the coercive treatment away from basic advocacy. One can be regulated, one not.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Agent Cormac: He hasn’t published my reply, the fucking coward. I asked him how someone who believes in virgin births, angels. miracles, voices from heaven, etc, had the nerve to accuse anyone of “dealing in myths”, and how calling homosexuals “fairies” was not “dealing in insults”. So, a liar and a hypocrite as well then – no change there!

  9. Angela_K says:

    @barriejohn. I would suggest censor rather than moderate is a better description of the activities of gormless Green and his religious ilk. I note Green doesn’t come onto this forum to express his offensive views.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Angela_K: Why was this statement not censored?

    Unfortunately, gay people act without morals and without due consideration for others, act indecently towards decent people and teach others to act outside of God’s law.

    When someone had the temerity to question such blatant lies by stating that “this is like saying all God fearing people are honest”, Birdshit came out with this gem:

    Paul, the truth is, God-fearing people are honest. If they are not honest, they are not God-fearing.

    He wouldn’t know the truth if it dressed up as a seagull and shat all over him!

  11. barriejohn says:

    Green is also claiming that he and his bigoted chums have absolutely nothing against “the gays”, but are merely opposed to “homosexual acts”. This is disingenuous if not downright lies. I knew full well what would have happened should I have “come out” as a Christian. I would never have been allowed near a Subnday School class again, and would most certainly not have been on the platform preaching every weekend! The very best that I could have hoped for would have been to have patronisingly been allowed to take part in prayer meetings, hand out hymn books and announce the odd hymn of a Lord’s Day morning. To be identified as gay amongst most evangelicals is to be given the Mark of Cain!

  12. barriejohn says:

    Meanwhile, the judge’s ruling has been overturned (what did I tell you?), and the religiots are appealing (but not to me!):

  13. barriejohn says:

    Shubb was nominated by G W Bush and Mueller by Barack Obama. Who’d have thought it?

  14. Jesus Smith says:

    Stephen “Birdshit” Green?

    I must say that I take exception to the use of this nickname.
    The Bible is clear that the God Holy Spirit appears in the form of a magic pigeon and impregnates barely adolescent children.

    This is obviously what happened (minus the divine paedophilia).
    He wasn't crapped on by a flying rat, He was anointed by the magic pigeon.

  15. Ewen Bensley says:

    As a young person, the thought that such practices exist makes me sick. These Christian tools need to let the world
    Move forward