- (Photo: Justin Short, Governor’s Office)
A conservative group has filed an injunction in a suit against California's recently passed "reparative therapy" law, which bans the controversial conversion therapy for minors.
Set to take effect on January 1, the Pacific Justice Institute filed a request for an injunction earlier this week as the suit against Senate Bill 1172 continues.
"Plaintiffs will suffer irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not granted because SB 1172 chills First Amendment activities to a manner and degree that cannot later be redressed with damages," reads the injunction request sent to Judge William B. Shubb.
"Because this first-of-its-kind law will upset the constitutional status quo when it becomes effective on January 1, 2013, and because central provisions of the law stand little chance of ultimately surviving constitutional scrutiny, it should be preliminarily enjoined during the course of this litigation."
Matthew B. McReynolds, staff attorney at PJI, told The Christian Post that the injunction is necessary given how long federal cases can take to be resolved.
"Federal suits can take years to resolve, especially when the appeals process is factored in. It is essential that an injunction be issued in order to preserve the current constitutional status quo while the overall case is pending," said McReynolds.
"Argument on the motion is scheduled for December 3 (it takes at least a month to get a hearing on such a motion in our federal courts.) Following the Dec. 3 argument, Judge Shubb can issue an order at any time, though he will most likely do so before Jan. 1."
In September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1172, which included a ban on reparative therapy for homosexual minors. The new law made California the first state to regulate the practice.
Several days later the Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal group, announced it would file suit over the law, arguing that it was a violation of parental rights and a politicization of one viewpoint in psychology.
"The California governor and legislature are putting their own preconceived notions and political ideology ahead of children and their rights to get access to counseling that meets their needs," said Liberty Counsel in a statement.
"This law undermines parental rights. Mental health decisions should be left to the patient, the parents, and the counselors – not to the government to license one viewpoint."
California State Senator Ted Lieu, the man who sponsored SB 1172, said in a statement that the suit was as much "quackery" as the practice of reparative therapy.
"The view that the US Constitution contains a 'right' to practice baseless and harmful medical therapies is itself legal quackery," said Lieu.
"Since the founding of this country, it has been understood that government has a duty to protect children from abuse."