Christopher Doyle

Christopher Doyle, represented by Liberty Counsel is the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit challenging Maryland ban on conversion therapy for minors.

Image via Voice of the Voiceless

American Family Association (an anti-LGBT hate group) informs us that Liberty Counsel (another anti-LGBT hate group) is suing Maryland over its 2018 law banning conversion therapy for minors. The plaintiff, according to the Washington Post is none other than Christopher Doyle.

According to Liberty Counsel’s news release:

These professionals provide life-saving counsel to minors who desperately desire to conform their attractions, behaviors, and identity to their sincerely held religious beliefs. The sacred trust between counselors and clients is a unique alliance that permits clients to inform the counselors of their own goals and receive counseling consistent with those goals.

“Life-saving?” The overwhelming scientific consensus is that conversion therapy doesn’t work and is possibly harmful. The potential for harm substantially increases when the subject is a child. Moreover those “desperate desires” are parents’ more than children’s. If children are desperate it means that coercive parents are too invested in religious dogma and faith makes the transition to superstition.

Using conversion therapy on a child with gender dysphoria would put that child at significant risk for self-harm.

Abusing children because of religious dogma should be inexcusable. Ideally, parents should have the intelligence and the intellectual curiosity to reject conversion therapy. Sadly, that is not the case.

The Supreme Court has declined to intervene in two cases which means that the issue can still be litigated.

We all knew that this would happen eventually. As I explained last June, Mad Mat Staver was looking for a rerun of Pickup v. Brown and King v. Governor of New Jersey. Staver was energized by the ruling in NIFLA v. Becerra. In that case, the Court held that California could not compel crisis pregnancy centers to essentially advertise the availability of abortions.

Clarence Thomas mentioned Pickup and King in his opinion for the majority. He added:

But this Court has not recognized “professional speech”
as a separate category of speech. Speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by “professionals.” This
Court has “been reluctant to mark off new categories of
speech for diminished constitutional protection.”

Then the question becomes whether or not the majority will view reparative therapy as conduct, in contrast to speech. In Becerra California overreached. The problem of deceptive Christian pregnancy centers (which exist to shame women out of having an abortion) could have been solved by requiring them to post signs that they did not offer, or refer clients for, abortions. The Supreme Court has ruled that truthful disclosures are not compelled speech.

By replacing Kennedy with Kavanaugh now anything is possible. It is the price we pay when some people were too lazy to vote in 2016 or turned off by the campaigns. That means that Mr. Putin’s disinformation campaign was successful. Mad Mat Staver is behaving accordingly.

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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.