Jenna Ellis
Jenna Ellis doesn’t seem to be much of a lawyer. She fares even worse when she opines on conversion therapy.

At the Washington Examiner Jenna Ellis writes: Why does California hate free speech?:

California’s legislature is poised to approve one of the most serious attacks against freedom of speech ever contemplated in U.S. history this week. Assembly Bill 2943 is legislation that would place that state in an Orwellian society by banning books, speech, and commercial services that would (in the state’s subjective view) help or encourage any willing consumer to overcome same-sex desires or gender confusion.

That is incorrect. Banning conversion therapy has no effect on freedom of speech and certainly not on the content of books. Interestingly, Ms. Ellis is a practicing attorney — a sole practitioner in Lakewood, CO. Her office address is actually a Colorado Christian University building. Amusingly, at Colorado Christian University she sports a “Dr.” prefix because, I suppose, she has a JD. I am further amused that, according to CCU:

As a practicing attorney in criminal law and specializing in American constitutional law, Dr. Ellis has extensive experience in litigation in both trial and appellate levels.

I cannot find any record of Ellis appearing in federal court in Colorado. Draw your own conclusions.

Getting back to the proposed California legislation, there are “willing consumers” of many things that we prohibit (or try to prohibit) including recreational drugs, pyramid schemes and all manner of products and services. The state is making an effort to protect willing consumers just as it would not permit them to purchase a home that was structurally unsafe.

Furthermore, begging the question is the very essence of a terrible argument. Since this involves a form of therapy then “same-sex desires” should be written as homosexuality and “gender confusion” doesn’t seem to exist in the DSM. She means gender dysphoria. All of Christendom cannot provide peer-reviewed research published to a scholarly academic journal which concludes that conversion therapy is either safe or effective.

It gets worse:

It’s the latest stride for the LGBT agenda to promote their (and only their) message, declaring anyone who might have any other viewpoint or simply desire to learn varying perspectives subject to “unlawful business practice” remedies. In other words, a Christian bookstore could be sued for carrying a book such as Ryan T. Anderson’s latest, When Harry Became Sally, solely because the message is in conflict with the LGBT agenda.

This woman is a graduate of a good law school (University of Richmond). She is licensed and presumably has the ability to read. How she concludes that the sale of a book would serves as the grounds for a law suit is anyone’s guess. Furthermore, as long as she brings it up, Anderson’s book is not at odds with some mythical agenda. Rather, it is at odds with medical science. Anderson is a religious crackpot but he has the right to sell his idiotic book.

Moreover, this has nothing to do with viewpoint, agendas or perspectives. This is about science. The sale of conversion therapy constitutes consumer fraud. It is no different than someone claiming that they can cure cancer with the application of certain crystals. Anti-LGBT Christians have been at this for decades and they haven’t come up with the necessary research. That is because conversion therapy only exists to justify discrimination on the basis that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices that can be modified through talk therapy. Snake oil.

Enter a California hate group:

California Family Council President Jonathan Keller told Washington Examiner, “The State of California has no right to deny its residents the counseling and resources to help them find happiness or to shut down counselors, schools, and religious organizations that provide those services. Every person experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction must be allowed to choose the services and resources to help them achieve their desired goals and outcomes.”

“Schools and religious organizations?” Where on earth do they get that from? Moreover, the state has every right to prohibit the sale of counseling services that have no scientific basis. In doing so, the state is correctly conveying the scientific fact that gender identity and sexual orientation are organic in nature and immutable.

Ellis correctly identifies the legislative basis:

In the bill, California makes a legislative declaration that “Contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity” and that so-called “change efforts,” including merely speaking a different viewpoint, constitutes unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under the state’s consumer protection laws.

“Merely speaking” is not in the bill. The fraud exists when someone exchanges such counseling for money. It is really not all that complicated.

This woman is impervious to scientific fact:

The declaration further states that “California has a compelling interest in protecting consumers from false and deceptive practices that claim to change sexual orientation and in protecting consumers against exposure to serious harm caused by sexual orientation change efforts.” Shouldn’t that actually be a statement against viewpoints that seek to enable or persuade people, particularly at-risk categories such as children, from change efforts that differ with their biologically identified gender?

There is no intervention, known to medical science that addresses gender dysphoria. None!

There was a simple way to defeat this bill and it has nothing to do with Christian talking points. All that opponents were required to do was to provide peer-reviewed research in support of conversion therapy. Apparently NARTH (now ATCSCI) was never able to to that. For all her bluster, Michelle Cretella, president of the hate group American College of Pediatricians and former board member of NARTH, has never been able to do that. (She “published” an article to another fringe medical group’s “journal.”)

Jenna Ellis doesn’t seem to be much of a lawyer. She did not review applicable case law (Welch v. Brown).  She fares even worse when it comes to medical science. Ellis writes of an LGBT agenda which has little to do with the science surrounding sexuality. She fails to appreciate that she is promoting a religious agenda.

Her agenda becomes more glaringly apparent because she cannot, and does not, cite any reputable source in support of conversion therapy. That is what this is all about — not Anderson’s book or some silly free speech argument that was previously tried and failed (Pickup v. Brown). Ellis and the usual suspects cannot create a diversion from the science. Their efforts to do so constitute more anti-LGBT rhetoric.

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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.