The justices let stand a ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the state had demonstrated that such conversion counseling does not have scientific merit. The appeals court ruled the law does not violate the free-speech rights of counselors and patients.
A stay on enforcement of the law had been issued by the appeals court but is expected to be lifted in a matter of days, court officials said. State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) praised the high court decision for preserving the law he introduced. He noted that eight other states have introduced similar measures, giving the decision broader impact.
"The Supreme Court has cement shut any possible opening to allow further psychological child abuse in California," Lieu, an attorney, said in a statement. "The court's refusal to accept the appeal of extreme ideological therapists who practice the quackery of gay conversion therapy is a victory for child welfare, science and basic humane principles."
The legal challenge to the law was brought by the nonprofit, Christian group Liberty Counsel, whose founder and chairman, Mat Staver, expressed disappointment.
“I am deeply saddened for the families we represent and for the thousands of children that our professional clients counsel, many of whom developed these unwanted attractions because of abuse of a pedophile,” Staver said in a statement. “These children have been victimized twice -- first by the likes of