A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a fresh challenge to New Jersey’s ban on so-called gay conversion therapy for minors, saying the prohibition does not violate the rights of either children or their parents. By a 3-0 vote, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban did not infringe the First Amendment rights of minors and their parents to receive information and exercise religion, or the rights of parents to decide how to raise their children. The challenge came from a 15-year-old boy known as John Doe, who claimed to suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, self-hatred and suicidal thoughts as he struggled with his sexual identity, and his parents, who said they had sincere religious beliefs that homosexuality was sinful and harmful. The family plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, said their lawyer, Mathew Staver. “It is a tragedy when people who are not in the counseling room try to dictate what the client wants to receive and what the counselor is allowed to offer,” Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a phone interview.
In addition to now having lost twice in New Jersey, Liberty Counsel has failed in three attempts to overturn California’s ban, including before the US Supreme Court last summer. So naturally, they are looking to extend their streak to 0-6.