WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday refused to take up a case about whether state and local governments can enforce laws banning conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ minors.
About half the states now prohibit the practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through counseling.
Over the dissent of three of its conservative justices, the court turned away an appeal from Washington, where the law has been upheld. In the meantime, a 2018 ruling from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has voided local Florida bans as an unconstitutional restriction on counselors’ speech.
The high court often steps in when appellate courts disagree, and in separate opinions Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said that standard was met in the controversy over conversion therapy bans.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh also voted to hear the case.
But it takes four of the nine justices to set a case for arguments.
The court’s decision to avoid the case from Washington comes as laws pertaining to LGBTQ+ youths continue to be hotly argued at the state and regional level across the country.
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