English: Gender symbols, sexual orientation: h...

The background of this litigation is less important than the arguments being made against California’s ban of so-called reparative “therapy” for minors. The complete filing is below. Briefly, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an injunction barring enforcement of California’s law. This is a petition  to have the matter reheard by the entire bench which will probably be denied.

An interesting side note is medical insurance coverage. In banning this practice relegating it to faith healers the legislature has removed it from reimbursable medical service. The economics play a role in this issue. But let’s get to the crackpottery in their filing:

Homosexuality and same-sex attraction are among the most hotly debated
national issues of our time. Into this arena, the California Legislature injected
itself with unabashed preference for the viewpoint that sexual orientation is not
changeable. In so doing, they grasped at straws to claim the high ground in the
argument. They announced a compelling interest, which was completely
disregarded by the panel opinion. And they sought to make far more out of the
available research than can be adduced.

The only reason that sexual orientation is a subject of debate is because Christian fundamentalists refuse to accept the irrefutable science. This does not constitute a “viewpoint.” “Smoking causes lung cancer” is not a point of view. It is established fact. So is the fact that sexual orientation is innate and immutable. Ever reputable medical and counseling organization agrees. The idea that this is “grasping a straws” is plainly preposterous.

The record strongly supports the District Court’s findings. Chief among
the State’s evidence is the 2009 APA Task Force Report. E.R. at 143. Among its
more illuminating passages in this regard, the Report states:

[T]here is a dearth of scientifically sound research on the safety of
SOCE. Early and recent research studies provide no clear indication
of the prevalence of harmful outcomes among people who have
undergone efforts to change their sexual orientation or the frequency
of occurrence of harm because no study to date of adequate scientific
rigor has been explicitly designed to do so. Thus, we cannot conclude
how likely it is that harm will occur from SOCE. E.R. 192 

In summarizing itself, the Report concludes, “We concluded that research on
SOCE (psychotherapy, mutual self-help groups, religious techniques) has not
answered basic questions of whether it is safe or effective and for whom….
[R]esearch into harm and safety is essential.” E.R. at 240.

Do these people believe that everyone is stupid?

What the APA has concluded is that it cannot ascertain that this “therapy” is safe and effective because its proponents have never submitted verifiable data to serious investigation and review with any degree of scientific integrity. It is absent from mainstream peer reviewed literature published in respected scholarly journal.

Petition for Rehearing – 9th CCA – California ban on sexual reorientation therapy for minors by David Hart

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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.