By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld New Jersey's ban on counseling intended to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian children. By a 3-0 vote, a panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban, which Republican Governor Chris Christie signed into law in August 2013, did not violate the free speech or religious rights of counselors offering "gay conversion therapy" to convert homosexual minors into heterosexuals. The panel also said the plaintiffs, who included licensed therapists and a Christian counseling group, lacked standing to pursue claims on behalf of their minor clients. Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith said the ban, the second in the country after California's, appropriately advanced New Jersey's legitimate interest in protecting people under the age of 18 from harmful or ineffective professional treatment. He also said New Jersey had shown that the potential harm from gay conversion therapy was "not merely conjectural," reflecting concern by the American Psychiatric Association and other groups about such risks as anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Lawmakers may "rely on the empirical judgment of independent professional organizations that possess specialized knowledge and experience ... particularly when this community has spoken with such urgency and solidarity," wrote Smith, an appointee of President George W. Bush. The other judges on the panel were appointed by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder, but various conservative and religious groups have since argued that sexual orientation can be changed. Plaintiffs challenging the New Jersey ban included two counselors, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and the American Association of Christian Counselors. "Laws banning counseling in this area are simply unconstitutional violations of free speech," the plaintiffs' lawyer Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement. He said there will be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Christie's office declined to comment, and the state attorney general's office had no immediate comment. The decision "will do a lot of good for young people who are at great risk of harm from unscrupulous or misguided therapists," Hayley Gorenberg, deputy legal director of Lambda Legal, a nonprofit advocating for rights of gay and transgender people, said in an interview. "It validates the state's strong interest in preventing these snake-oil efforts." Thursday's decision upheld a November ruling by U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson in Trenton, New Jersey. The appeals court said Wolfson had erred in finding that New Jersey law regulated conduct and not speech, but said the law's limits on speech were "not more extensive than necessary." California Governor Jerry Brown signed that state's gay conversion therapy ban into law in 2012, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it in August 2013. The Supreme Court in June refused to disturb that ruling. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tom Brown)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
"'Don’t tell anyone,' he said next. 'Why not?' I asked. 'We have to protect the kids. They can’t know. The town can’t know.'''
Leah Newman, a former Harpo Entertainment executive and daughter of WME partner Robert Newman, died Nov. 24 in Los Angeles at the age of 33, two days after giving birth to a daughter. In an unbelievably tragic turn of events, Leah Newman died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, just two days after the birth of her […]
- WXYZ-Detroit Videos
We're learning more about the suspect who allegedly killed three people and shot eight others at Oxford High School on Tuesday afternoon.
- Kansas City Star
Upon closer inspection, the hunter quickly noticed something was amiss.
- NBC Sports
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak scored one of the craziest goals you will ever see in an NHL game on Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues.
The reality star, who is engaged to Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, has repeatedly had to shoot down rumors that she's pregnant with a fourth child
- Eat This, Not That!
The New York Times reports more than 775,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and more than 48 million have had the virus. However, many others have likely had COVID but weren't tested or were asymptomatic and didn't realize they had it. While it's impossible to know if you've been infected without seeing a physician or getting tested, there are signs you've had it. COVID affects everyone differently, but according to virus and medical experts Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with, here are the
- Cincinnati.com | The Enquirer
Northwest High School volleyball alum Fatimah Shabazz died at North Carolina A&T where she was about to lead her team into a big tournament.
- Yahoo Sports
There are 83 bowl-eligible teams and 82 bowl spots. Who is going to miss out on a game?
Kate Middleton Couldn't Conceal Her Reaction to This Child Listing Harry & Meghan as Her Favorite Royals
Kate Middleton might have had the most real moment we have ever seen on-camera while visiting Nower Hill High School last week. The surprise appearance in a classroom filled with 12 and 13-year-old students led to some very teen-related questions — one that had an interesting reaction from the Duchess of Cambridge. She sat down […]
- Business Insider
Trump doesn't deny testing positive for COVID-19 before his first debate with Biden, but calls his former chief of staff's account of the test result 'fake news'
Mark Meadows writes that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 three days before the first debate and then tested negative.
- The Daily Advertiser
LSU football pulling Brian Kelly out of Notre Dame one-upped USC's hiring of Lincoln Riley in a manner that should be shocking for college football.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback was on the receiving end of a brief but brutal ding from "The Late Show" comedian.
- NBC Sports Chicago
The Purdue student section made a touching gesture to Florida State point guard RayQuan Evans, whose brother recently died of leukemia.
- The Hill
To be talking about a legalization program without border security is ludicrous.
- NBC Sports BayArea
The Giants non-tendered three young players on Tuesday, opening up three roster spots as they look to fill out their rotation.
Accuser says Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein picked her up at summer camp when she was 14 years old and sexually abused her for 5 years
"I felt very ashamed, I felt disgusted, I was confused. And I didn't know whether it was my fault," the accuser said.
An Oxford High School student shared video with father, who shared it with FOX 2, about the scene inside the building as a gunman opened fire, leaving three people dead.
Donning a purple SKIMS x Fendi bikini, Kourtney Kardashian simply captioned the steamy snapshot: "life with you"
- Fighting Irish Wire
All the best to Brendon Clark!