Christian therapist loses legal battle to overturn Washington’s ban on cruel conversion therapyThe ADF is not invincible.
An anti-LGBT+ therapist has lost his legal battle to overturn a Washington ban on conversion therapy for minors.
By Lily Wakefield
September 2, 2021
“Christian licensed marriage and family therapist” Brian Tingley was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated extremist hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in the case.
Earlier this year, Tingley filed a lawsuit against Washington attorney general Robert Ferguson, the state’s secretary of health Umair Shah, Kristin Peterson, and the assistant secretary of the Health Systems Quality Assurance division of the Washington department of health.
The therapist argued that the state’s ban on minors undergoing the harmful practice, signed by governor Jay Inslee in 2018, should be overturned as the provided definition of “conversion therapy” was “vague, content-biased, and biased against one perspective or point of view”.
In the lawsuit, ADF consistently referred to the ban as the “Counselling Censorship Law”, and declared that Tingley “is not able to freely and without fear speak what he believes to be true”.
In his ruling, district judge Robert Bryan said that the “conversion law does not violate the plaintiff’s First Amendment free speech rights”, and reasserted that the state of Washington has an interest “in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harm caused by conversion therapy”.The ADF won a federal last year claiming that the conversion ban violated the therapist “free speech.”
A Christian news agency said…
“As the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recognized just last year in the Otto v. Boca Raton decision, laws like this Washington state law violate the First Amendment rights that all Americans rightly treasure.”What they don’t say is that other courts have ruled that it did not violate the First Amendment. The US Supreme Court refused to hear a case in 2013 that said the conversion therapy ban violated his “religious freedom” and in 2019 the court rejected a challenge to the New Jersey conversion therapy ban. In that case Liberty Counsel said that the New Jersey’s law violates the free speech rights of counselors and the courts all said no it didn’t.
Brooks vowed that ADF “will appeal this decision and continue to defend the freedom of all Americans to peacefully live, work and speak according to their deeply held beliefs without fear of punishment.”
So what has changed? Trump. Of the twelve judges on the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Trump appointed 6 judges. He also packed the Supreme Court so that is why all these cases against conversion therapy now, the conservatives hope to over turn the rulings of 2013 and 2019. My guess is the court will do it like that just did with overturning Roe v. Wade via a “Shadow Docket.”