By Bob Katzen
The Senate 6-32, rejected a proposal asking the Supreme Judicial Court to advise the Senate on whether the therapy ban is constitutional. The court would be asked if the bill violates the provisions of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by violating the right of free speech of professional counselors; the constitutional rights of parents; or the constitutional or statutory rights of privacy or patient confidentiality.
Supporters of asking the court about the constitutionality of the therapy ban said they support the conversion therapy ban but are concerned that the ban is likely to be challenged. They believe the Senate should get an opinion before the challenge in order to ensure the bill doesn’t get delayed.
“We are confident that the pending bill is constitutional,” said Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) who opposed getting the court’s opinion. “It relies on well-established authority of the state to regulate professional conduct.”