More good news in High Court ruling (Liberty Counsel Action)

Mat Staver,
Liberty Counsel

The recently announced ruling by the Supreme Court in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra is a huge victory for crisis pregnancy centers and free speech. Liberty Counsel represents three crisis pregnancy centers before the High Court and are very excited.

But when I read that two of our change counsel cases are discussed on page 7 of the opinion, I was amazed at the impact this case will have on our fight against laws that ban counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or gender confusion. This is a true God-send for families, minors suffering from sexual dysphoria, and Christian counselors nationwide! Please see below for my important update on these cases.

It is vital to Liberty Counsel’s operations that we end our fiscal year on solid footing. As you are able, please help us meet our Challenge Grant— Mat.

As it ended its term, the Supreme Court delivered a major victory to crisis pregnancy centers by siding with the First Amendment against a California that forced these centers to post a 29-word, 48-point-font notice in up to 13 languages referring clients to free or low-cost abortions. Liberty Counsel represented three-crisis pregnancy centers challenging California’s forced abortion speech law at the High Court.But, when I got to page 7 of the opinion, I was very excited to read about two of our cases involving laws that banned change counsel in California and New Jersey. We challenged both laws, but the two Courts of Appeal upheld them and created a new “professional speech” category, thus providing less protection.

The Supreme Court criticized these lower court opinions and rejected a lower level of “professional speech.” This means the handwriting is on the wall that laws banning counsel for unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or identity will fall under the First Amendment Free Speech Clause.

The Court’s findings explicitly adopt the arguments Liberty Counsel has made all along in counseling cases, which is that there is no such thing as “professional speech” that is relegated to less protection under the First Amendment.

Justice Thomas notes in his opinion that disagreements about the efficacy of services cannot be used to suppress professional speech:

“The dangers associated with content-based regulations of speech are also present in the context of professional speech. As with other kinds of speech, regulating the content of professionals’ speech pose[s] the inherent risk that the Government seeks not to advance a legitimate regulatory goal, but to suppress unpopular ideas or information…

 

That is the bottom line. Government suppression of speech about change therapy counseling is precisely the goal of misguided laws framed to squash this category of counseling altogether. We have several change counsel cases pending, and we plan to re-open the two cases mentioned in the Supreme Court opinion. We will not rest until these laws are history!

 

+ + Banning the Bible in change therapy counseling…California’s AB 2943 is among the most overreaching efforts to outlaw change therapy counseling. AB 2943 declares “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” is fraudulent business practice.

If signed into law, AB 2943 would make it unlawful for any person to sell books, including the Bible, counseling services, or anything else that directs people to trust in Jesus Christ to help them overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

 

Liberty Counsel recently filed suits in federal court against the Cities of Tampa and Boca Raton, and Palm Beach County, Florida, for their adoption of ordinances that prohibit minors from receiving voluntary counseling from licensed professionals to reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.For Big Brother to assume that it knows best what kind of counseling individuals should receive is the height of hubris and arrogance! These ordinances will harm children, unduly stress families, and place counselors in an insoluble dilemma.

Americans must not allow any federal, state, or local government or agency to usurp the individual rights of parents, children, or their counselors on such a personal matter!

Liberty Counsel has been on the forefront of fighting overreaching laws banning change therapy counseling!
Liberty Counsel’s legal team has been fighting these intrusive and unconstitutional laws since 2012. We are uniquely positioned to respond to such cases. But if we are to take advantage of the favorable NIFLA ruling, we need your support TODAY! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am. The tide is turning!Every tax-deductible dollar you give this month will effectively be doubled in impact by our providential Challenge Grant.Please consider making your best possible tax-deductible gift today:Donate $50k button

Today we celebrate the Supreme Court ruling that crisis pregnancy centers cannot be forced to advertise for abortion clinics!

The recent rulings once again show us how vitally important the Supreme Court’s makeup is to the culture of our nation.

With Justice Kennedy’s resignation, we will be closely monitoring and mobilizing for action once President Trump’s nominee is announced. Above all, we look forward to the opportunities that will arise under a reconstituted High Court!

Please consider a special gift today that will help Liberty Counsel in our ongoing efforts to defend life, liberty, faith, and family in our nation’s courtrooms and public policy forums.

God bless you for your support,

Mat