By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com October 04 2012 12:38 PM ET
College psychology student Aaron Blitzer claims he was once gay but so-called reparative therapy cured him of those urges, and now he's suing the state of California, which has passed the nation's first ban on forcing minors into "conversion" therapy and other "gay cures." According to ABC News, Blitzer filed the lawsuit this week along with two therapists — Donald Welsch, a minister and therapist at a Christian counseling center in San Diego, and Anthony Duk, a Roman Catholic psychiatrist — who say they have used these "treatments" with patients in the past and that by banning them the state is infringing on their rights to both free speech and religon.
Blitzer claims the law will prevent him from pursuing his chosen career path and the other two say the law unfairly restricts their therapeutic practices.
Their attorney, Brad Dacus, president of the conservative Pacific Justice Institute, told ABC News, "The legislature had an errant assumption that every individual struggling with same-sex attraction is caused by their DNA. It ignores thousands, including the plaintiff, who have gone through therapy and are now in a happy and healthy heterosexual relationship."
Most major psychology, pediatric, and mental health organizations heralded the new law when it was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month. Randall Hagar, government relations director for the California Psychiatric Association — which has banned "converstion" therapy for several years — told ABC News, "There is no psychiatrist who would engage and practice it and, if they did, they would be subject to ethical sanctions."