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Published On: Sat, Oct 6th, 2012

Aaron Blitzer, ‘gay cure’ student, sues California over ban

A college student who alleges he successfully responded to the “gay cure” therapy is suing California for the new ban on signed into law.

photo Julyo based on work by Gilbert Baker, 1979 via wikimedia commons

Aaron Blitzer, contends that this ban would prevent him from pursuing his career in this field. Citing two other therapists as co-plaintiffs, say the law banning the therapy intrudes on First Amendment protections of free speech, privacy and freedom of religion.

Blitzer says he had same-sex attractions but became heterosexual after conversion therapy and filed the lawsuit this week.

The lawsuit names as defendants California Gov. Jerry Brown, as well as 21 other state officials, including members of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the California Medical Board.

The other plaintiffs are Donald Welsch, a licensed family therapist and ordained minister who operates a Christian counseling center in San Diego; and Dr. Anthony Duk, a psychiatrist and practicing Roman Catholic.

Both say the law would restrict their counseling practices, according to the lawsuit.

“It’s it’s an egregious violation of the rights of young people feeling same-sex attraction, and of parents and counselors who feel it would be beneficial for the individual needs of a young person.” said Brad Dacus, president and attorney for the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, which asked a federal judge to prevent the law from taking effect.

“The legislature had an errant assumption that every individual struggling with same-sex attraction is caused by their DNA,” he said. “It ignores thousands, including the plaintiff, who have gone through therapy and are now in a happy and healthy heterosexual relationship.”

Just this week, California lawmakers voted to outlaw therapy aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors who say they are gay, making California the first state to adopt such legislation. The law is set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

The bill’s sponsor, California state Sen. Ted Lieu, said the therapy — called “conversion therapy,” “sexual orientation therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “sexual orientation change efforts” — amounts to “psychological child abuse.”

“I read the lawsuit and, as a matter of fiction, it is a good read,” Lieu said in a prepared statement after the suit was filed. “But from any reasonable legal standard, the lawsuit is frivolous. Under the plaintiffs’ argument, the First Amendment would shield therapists and psychiatrists from medical malpractice and psychological abuse claims simply because they use speech in practicing their medicine. That is a novel and frivolous view of the First Amendment.”

Lieu is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

 

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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