The practice of conversion therapy that claims to “cure” gay and lesbian teenagers of their sexual orientation will continue to be illegal in the state of California, the Supreme Court of the United States decided on Monday.
California passed a law outlawing gay conversion therapy in the state in 2012, and courts have rejected several appeals since. The Supreme Court rejected this latest appeal from three people, lead by minister Donald Welch, who argued that the law infringed on religious rights.
The law stipulates that state-licensed psychologists and social workers can’t offer conversion therapy to anyone under the age of 18.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, writes that conversion therapy is harmful and has been rejected by leading medical associations:
There is no credible evidence that conversion therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people. Use of these dangerous practices lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior, which is why they are universally criticized by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.
Six states, including California, and D.C., have passed laws in recent years banning the use of conversion therapy for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project.