New York Times reporter Ian Lovett covered the big court victory in California:
In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the ban on “conversion therapy,” the first such law in the country, did not violate the free speech rights of counselors or people seeking treatment. The state has an interest in banning professional treatments that it deems harmful, the court ruled.
“The First Amendment does not prevent a state from regulating treatment even when that treatment is performed through speech alone,” the opinion said.
The ruling was another setback for proponents of gay conversion therapy.
Supporters and opponents of California’s law agreed that the court’s ruling could embolden more states to ban the therapy.
Wayne Besen, the executive director of Truth Wins Out, an organization that combats what it considers misinformation about gays and lesbians, said, “This is a massive victory, and it sets the stage to pass similar laws in states across the country.”
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which challenged the California law, said his organization was considering its legal options. He said, “We are very concerned that this new law is going to be spreading like wildfire across the U.S.”
Personally, I prefer to think of the coming fire as controlled, rather than wild. But, make no mistake — a conflagration is on the way. It is preposterous to think that a civilized country can continue to allow anti-LGBT child abuse disguised as therapy. It must end — and the sooner the better. Each day that this injustice continues, we will see more young lives defaced and destroyed by greedy practitioners and callous ideologues.