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SCOTUS Side Steps Important Change Therapy Case

Faith and Freedom with Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver and BarbWire’s Matt Barber… An 11-minute weekday radio program discussing hot topics in the area of religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.

The U.S. Supreme Court side-stepped a very important case involving “change therapy,” a law in New Jersey that says clients may not receive, nor their parents may receive, nor counsellors may provide any kind of counsel that would seek to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity.

That is the law in New Jersey, and so far that law is still standing. The Supreme Court side-stepped this very important issue.

Mat Staver: Matt, everyone who was watching the Supreme Court, those who are experts in the field, were predicting that the Supreme Court would take this case. In fact, this is a case that is of significant precedential value. It has a First Amendment component to it. It is the first time in the country where you have counselors being told by a government that it can only provide one viewpoint on a particular subject matter of counseling.

So on the issue of same-sex attraction all they can do in New Jersey is affirm them as “good, okay, normal.” But they cannot do anything that would seek to change or reduce those unwanted attractions. As a result, this had significant First Amendment issues. There is a conflict between this case and other Federal Courts of Appeal, and there was a conflict between this case and a recently decided U.S. Supreme Court decision fro 2015 — a case which was actually favoravble to our postition. But, for whatever reason, we don’t know why, we don’t know what the vote would be, the Supreme Court decided to side-step this case. Meaning that the lower court decision upholding the ban on “change therapy” still stands.

Matt Barber: Mat, I hope I’m not wearing rose colored glasses here and that this isn’t wishful thinking. My hope, and this is speculation, my hope is that maybe they’re thinking that this case is too important to take up right now while they’re one justice short on the U.S. Supreme Court. and maybe they want to push it off until they have a full nine…justice Supreme Court. 


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