Classifying the speech at issue – the therapists’ advertising of “conversion therapy” and the therapy itself – as “professional,” the court held that professional speech receives diminished protection under the First Amendment, and, accordingly, that prohibitions of professional speech are constitutional only if they directly advance the State’s interest in protecting its citizens from harmful or ineffective professional practices and are no more extensive than necessary to serve that interest.
The court further noted that the “legislative record demonstrates that over the last few decades a number of well-known, reputable professional and scientific organizations have publicly condemned the practice of SOCE, expressing serious concerns about its potential to inflict harm. Among others, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Pan American Health Organization have warned of the “great” or “serious” health risks accompanying SOCE counseling, including depression, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, and suicidality. Many such organizations have also concluded that there is no credible evidence that SOCE counseling is effective.”
We look forward to Gay and Lesbian people using laws banning SOCE to challenge treatment for gender dysphoria/gender identity disorder, as a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is sometimes given to Gay/Lesbian youth.