Supreme Court Asked to Defend Rights of Minors


Washington, DC – Today Liberty Counsel is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review New Jersey Assembly Bill No. 3371 (“A3371”), which prohibits minors from receiving any form of counseling to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity. Licensed mental health professionals are forbidden to offer this counsel, even when it is desperately desired by the client.

Liberty Counsel represents a minor, John Doe, who desperately desires to continue receiving this counseling. Prior to receiving change counseling from a professional in a different state, John Doe struggled with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion causing him to have severe anxiety, depression, daily thoughts of suicide, and one attempted suicide. After he received counseling, he no longer struggles with any of it. He was able to eliminate all of his thoughts of suicide and has significantly reduced his unwanted same-sex attractions.

Now John Doe desperately desires to continue receiving counseling from a licensed psychologist in New Jersey to work toward his goal of conforming his attractions and identity to the teaching of his faith and his sincerely held religious convictions. A3371, however, slams the door to the counselors office where this child could receive the help he seeks.

“Our clients do not want to follow same-sex attractions,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “They have come to us and asked for our help in returning to the counseling that was helping them overcome these attractions, often the result of homosexual rape from child predators,” Staver continued. “Their mental health and future success depends on the Supreme Court stepping up to protect their fundamental rights to set their own counseling goals and objectives.

“The New Jersey Legislature, and now-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Governor Chris Christie, had no place interjecting their politically motivated assault on the fundamental rights of this minor and his parents,” said Staver. “The state’s efforts to silence one viewpoint on same-sex attractions is simply unconstitutional,” Staver concluded.

Just last term, in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the Supreme Court stated unequivocally that content- and viewpoint-based restrictions on speech get strict constitutional scrutiny. The decision of the court of appeals subjecting A3371 to less demanding review under the First Amendment is hopelessly irreconcilable with the clear mandate from the Court, and it should grant review to conform the lower court’s decision to the demands of the First Amendment.

Used with the permission of Liberty Counsel.

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