The following letter to the editor appears in today’s New York Times:


Re “Clashing Rulings Complicate Path of Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’ Ban” (news article, Dec. 5): 

It is ironic that a Federal District Court judge in Sacramento wants to
protect the freedom of the therapist, yet not the freedom of the
patient.

California’s ban on “conversion” therapy for minors is due, in part, to
the fact that it is practiced with a predetermined goal that is forced
on to the patient and precludes the patient from determining his or her
own sexual orientation. Telling a person that his or her sexual
orientation is deviant, shameful or wrong in a therapeutic setting is
not free speech; it is malpractice.

Government has a history and an interest in regulating medical and
mental health practice. California’s action is part and parcel of that
history and has the support of mainstream professional mental health
associations. Frankly, we are puzzled that this is being viewed as a
First Amendment issue.

ROBERT L. PYLES

President

American Psychoanalytic Association

Wellesley, Mass., Dec. 11, 2012

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.