A religious freedom nonprofit organization wants the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on an appeal over California's ban on "conversion therapy" and counseling young people to resist same-sex attraction.
ChristianNews.net reports Pacific Justice Institute filed a petition with the high court on behalf of Christian counselors. It reads, "SB 1172 directly violates the fundamental constitutional right to privacy in that it prohibits minors from defining their own existence."
"The law prevents minors from accessing mental health services and spiritual mentoring that would assist them in diminishing same-sex attraction in accordance with self-defined religious, moral, cultural, and philosophical beliefs," it continues.
This week, the Supreme Court instructed the State of California to respond to the petition, meaning the chances are much greater it will take up the case.
SB-1172 bans licensed therapists and counselors from conducting any kind of "conversion therapy," "sexual orientation therapy," "reparative therapy" or "sexual orientation change efforts."
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law in 2012.
"These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery," Brown said in a statement at that time.
"The state orthodoxy mandated by SB 1172 raises serious concerns for religious freedom and privacy, and we are glad the Supreme Court is taking our Petition seriously," said Brad Dacus, the president of Pacific Justice Institute.
"Many young people who struggle with same-sex attraction or gender confusion want to hear something different than political correctness on LGBTQ issues—they want to hear Biblical truth spoken in love," he continued.
"They absolutely should have the right to seek professional help, including church counseling, consistent with their values," he said.
PJI believes if the high court takes up the case, it could be one of 2017's most consequential.
"If the Supreme Court grants our petition for Certiorari, this will be the most important freedom of religion case for this year and will impact the rights of counseling ministries across the country, potentially for generations to come," Dacus said.
PJI represents a psychiatrist, a licensed therapist who also oversees a church counseling ministry, and an individual who deals with same-sex attraction and has benefited from the therapy now being banned.
You can watch his story about fighting same-sex attraction here: