Welch v. Brown

State statutes prohibiting licensed mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with minors do not abridge the religious freedom of either therapists or the minors in their care.  Bus. & Prof. Code 865, 865.1 and 865.2 prohibit state licensed mental health providers from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with minors while acting within the counselor-client relationship.  Following Pickup v. Brown (9th Cir. 2014) 740 F.3d 1208, this decision holds that the cited statutes do not abridge the therapists’ or the patients’ Freedom of Religion but are reasonably related to the goal of protecting minors.  And the statutes allow minors who seek sexual orientation change numerous other opportunities for doing so either by waiting until they are 18 or by using services of someone other than a state-licensed mental health provider.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Graber, J.); August 23, 2016 (amended on denial of rehearing October 3, 2016); 2016 WL 4437617

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