University of Southern California

"The Dustbin of Quackery"? Senate Bill 1172 and the Legal Implications of Banning Reparative Therapy for Homosexual Minors

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Note by Marlena McMurchie
From Volume 87, Number 6 (September, 2014)

On September 30, 2012, California became the first state in the nation to place restrictions on the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation. The passage of this landmark legislation, known as Senate Bill (“SB”) 1172, set off a firestorm of protest, with multiple lawsuits being filed within twenty-four hours of the bill’s passage. Though the issue of SB 1172’s validity has been decided by the Ninth Circuit, which upheld the law in August 2013, other states are considering passage of similar measures, and many issues were debated minimally or not at all in the California cases. Thus, this Note seeks to examine the potential claims that may be brought on behalf of parents and children against these laws and how such challenges may be overcome. As it is thus far the only law of its kind, SB 1172 is treated as a case study and model in many parts of this Note, and some time is spent discussing the law itself in detail. For the purposes of analysis and simplicity, it is assumed that future laws will be substantively similar to SB 1172.

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