'Gross intrusion': New fight against same-sex counseling ban

( WND )

A lawsuit challenging California’s ban on licensed counseling of minors seeking to curb or eliminate same-sex attractions will be refiled in light of two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Liberty Counsel said Monday it will refile Pickup v. Newsom in a California district court and work the case back up to the U.S. Supreme Court

In a case brought by National Institute of Family and Life Advocates challenging California’s requirement that pro-life pregnancy centers promote abortionists, the Supreme Court last year ruled states cannot force private groups and individuals to present a message with which they disagree.

In a therapy-ban case similar to Pickup, King v. Christie, the Supreme Court ruled it had never created a “professional speech” category.

California allows counselors to promote same-sex attractions when counseling minors but forbids any therapy to help them eliminate such attractions.

Liberty Counsel has been battling such restrictions in several states, including California, Maryland and Florida. The states did not back down in light of the new Supreme Court precedent, and both the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court did not overturn the earlier decision against the counselors.

Liberty Counsel said such refiling is rare but not unheard of in instances in which the Supreme Court establishes a precedent during the course of a case.

WND reported when Liberty Counsel sought to challenge several state laws that conflicted with the ruling that the government cannot require groups or individuals to carry a message with which they disagree.

The courts had claimed that such messages were “professional speech” and unprotected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court, in the NIFLA case, pointed that there was no such thing as “professional speech.”

At that time, Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said the “lives of real people are at stake, and it is critical that the Supreme Court step in to protect the fundamental rights of counselors and clients to exercise their right to speak in private counseling sessions.”

“The law is a gross intrusion into the fundamental rights of counselors and clients,” he said. “All people should have access to the counselor of their choice. No government has the authority to prohibit a form of counseling simply because it does not like the religious or moral beliefs of a particular counselor or client.”

( Source )