U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Ban On 'Gay Conversion' Therapy

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling that banned "gay conversion" therapy on youths under the age of 18 to prevent them from turning to homosexuality.

The ruling rejected a Christian minister's appeal through the Pacific Justice Institute to review the decision passed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016.

It is the third time that the U.S. justice system rejected a petition to have the law reviewed due to claims that it violates religious freedom rights, Reuters reported.

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According to the law, state-licensed psychologists, mental health therapists, counselors and social workers are banned from recommending and performing specialized therapies to help minors change their sexual orientation.

Three people led the case against the state of California. Skyline Wesleyan Church Minister Donald Welch along with a Catholic psychologist and a man who successfully underwent "gay conversion" therapy sued the state for the law, which they claimed was unconstitutional as it violated freedom of speech.

When their petition was denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the group sued the state for prohibiting them from practicing religious freedom.

But the petition was once again denied by the Supreme Court. Justices from California, where the law was passed, urged the court not to hear the case, saying that the law doesn't impinge on anyone's religious freedom, said Bloomberg.

The methods used in performing "gay conversion" therapy vary. The approaches address the belief that homosexuality is a psychological illness that can be cured with techniques used in psychiatric patients.

Treatments and therapies can be as simple as one-on-one counseling meetings to training one person on dating skills. For "severe" cases, hypnosis can be done or electric shocks may be administered upon seeing same-sex suggestive photos, officials said.

Since the state of California passed the law in 2012, five other states have implanted the law as well, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

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