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San Diego gay cure pastor rebuffed by US Supreme Court

San Diego gay cure pastor rebuffed by US Supreme Court

Donald W Welch, a quack Christian therapist and an ordained minister at Skyline Church in Rancho San Diego, inset, had failed in his bid to overturn to a California law banning gay conversion therapy for minors.

According to this report, the US Supreme Court yesterday declined to take up Welch’s challenge to the law. The justices, turning away a challenge to the 2012 law for the second time in three years, let stand a lower court’s ruling that it was constitutional and neither impinged upon free exercise of religion nor impacted the activities of clergy members.

The 2012 statute noted that homosexuality is not a disease and that gay conversion therapy is harmful.

Similar laws against gay conversion have passed in the District of Columbia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont. A challenge to the New Jersey law was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2015.

Welch is an ordained minister and a licensed family therapist with the evangelical Skyline Wesleyan Church near San Diego. The church believes sex should take place only in a marriage between a man and a woman.

When the Bill SB 1172 became was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the Sacramento Pacific Justice Institute immediately launched a challenge on behalf of Welch, saying the law violates First Amendment and equal protection rights.

Welch, whose church operates one of the oldest Christian counseling centre in the area, is as an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University and Azusa Pacific University. The suit also named as a plaintiff Aaron Bitzer, a Culver City man who says he has benefited from the “reparative” therapy.

Institute president Brad Dacus said of the law:

It directly threatens the rights of parents and how they choose to address the issue of same-sex attraction with their children. It threatens to have the child removed from families that do not affirm the homosexual conduct of their children. And then it also violates the rights and the professional duties of licensed counselors – and even clergy who are licensed counselors – by dictating them to affirm homosexual same-sex attraction as well as the sexual conduct resulting from that attraction.

Senator Ted Lieu, above, who introduced the bill, dismissed the lawsuit as:

Frivolous. Their view of the First Amendment is so expansive it would protect therapists and psychiatrists from medical malpractice claims and abuse claims simply because they use speech in practicing their medicine.

He said conversion therapy:

Has no basis in medicine and, in fact, causes harm.

That’s why the state has the authority to step in, he said.

We let adults do stupid things in society but we don’t let children. We don’t let children drink whiskey at a bar even if parents consent. We don’t let children buy cigarettes even if their parents consent.

The state has precedent on its side, Lieu said. For example, California bans children from electric shock therapy and psychosurgery. Lieu also said the lawsuit’s citations related to the right to privacy is so expansive that no court has ever upheld such a claim.

This is not about speech. This is about the practice of medicine.

Not so, argued Dacus. He added that an underlying fallacy to the law is that it presupposes anyone attracted to someone of the same sex does so purely based on their genetics. He further argued there were many youth “suffering” from same-sex attraction who were abused as children.

These youth have already been victimized once. By denying them the ability to get reparative or healing therapy that they choose, they are being victimized twice. That is what makes this so repulsive to those who appreciate not only civil rights but sincerely wish to address the unique needs and the unique therapies that are necessary for each individual.

9 responses to “San Diego gay cure pastor rebuffed by US Supreme Court”

  1. barriejohn says:

    Is being a bigot a choice?

  2. Brummie says:

    Male genital mutilation (MGM) is also harmful to children, but has yet to be made illegal anywhere in the world.

  3. sailor1031 says:

    “Is being a bigot a choice?”. Probably; but being pig-ignorant sure is!

  4. Angela_K says:

    Shouldn’t that be “threaten the rights of religious nutter parents to abuse their children”? It is child abuse telling children they’ll go to a non-existent hell if they love somebody of the same sex. These revolting so called Christian therapists always have a smug look about them and a fake smile.

  5. StephenJP says:

    It’s not clear from the report whether the full SC- ie including Trump’s nominee Gorsuch – was involved in this ruling. If it was, it is an indication that the SC is not going to be the neo-con robots that conservative Republicans think they’ve got.

  6. Laura Roberts says:

    @StephenJP: I suspect you’re overly optimistic — SCOTUS seems well on its way to becoming a theocratic little cult — but I dearly hope you’re right.

  7. 1859 says:

    ‘It threatens to have the child removed from families that do not affirm the homosexual conduct of their children…..’

    Should parents really ‘affirm’ the sexual conduct of their children? Surely it’s not the parent’s area of responsibility what sexual direction their child tries to explore? As long as parents make it clear that sexual conduct must not be harmful either to themselves or to others, must be consensual and done at an appropriate, legal age, then whichever way their child decides to explore their emerging sexuality, is up to the child.

    I know it’s a very fuzzy area but I think what disturbs me is the sub-text behind this ‘affirming’ business.It is a smokescreen. What it really wants is to give parents, who are religiously motivated, the legal power to forcefully direct the sexuality of their children , and that cannot be allowed to happen.

  8. Barty says:

    OT Sorry.
    But here is another nutter who thinks being offended is something to which most of us will be sympathetic.

    Playboy model angers Maori with nude shoot on sacred mountain – BBC News
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-39789508

    I see nothing wrong with the naked female form. In fact its something wondrous to behold and to celebrate.

    The nitwit should be delighted and go buy the magazine, in which incidentally there is more truth and honesty than in any dusty hidebound religious tome.

  9. 1859 says:

    @ Barty ; I’m afraid the Maoris have swallowed the religion of their white conquerors hook, line and sinker, and then added their own stone age superstitions into the mix. They are probably one of the most devout christian groups in New Zealand. Strangely enough, the white New Zealanders – those of European extraction – are probably the least religious, but those whites from South Africa (of which there are many, and mostly ex-Afrikaners), plus Chinese, Filipino, Thai – all these groups are probably the most religious. Fortunately its not ‘in your face’ religion.
    The picture is great and fuck the Maori sacred mountain. How can you tell I’m European?

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