Judge rejects lawsuit challenging Maryland ban on conversion therapy

Judge rejects lawsuit challenging Maryland ban on conversion therapy
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A federal judge has reportedly thrown out a lawsuit challenging Maryland’s statewide ban on gay conversion therapy for minors.

U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow on Friday dismissed a claim from Christopher Doyle — a mental health therapist at Patrick Henry College in Virginia and the executive director of the Institute for Healthy Families — who argued that the ban violates his First Amendment rights, NBC News reports.

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Chasanow, appointed by former President Clinton, argued that banning gay conversion therapy doesn’t bar therapists from being able to express their own views with their clients, and that the ban is justified due to ample research and evidence proving conversion therapy's harmful effects on young people.

“These sources indicate that conducting conversion therapy on minors could potentially harm their emotional and physical well-being and, thus, prohibiting the practice of conversion therapy on minors would abate the harmful outcomes caused by conversion therapy,” she said.

Doyle filed the lawsuit in January, naming Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and State Attorney Brian Frosh as defendants.

One of his attorneys, from a Christian legal advocacy group based on Florida, said Monday they will appeal the ruling.

Hogan in May 2018 signed into law the statewide ban on gay conversion therapy for minors, making Maryland the 11th state to institute such a ban.

The law took effect in October.