Clay Calvert Comments on Pittsburgh’s Decision to Ban LGBT Conversion Therapy
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project Director Clay Calvert was quoted in “Pittsburgh becomes the latest city to approve a ban on conversion therapy” published in The Christian Science Monitor on Dec. 14.
The Pittsburgh City Council unanimously approved a ban on “conversion therapy” for LGBT youth. But the constitutionality of legally banning such practices has been questioned, both by defenders of conversion therapy and those who say the legislation in Pittsburgh and elsewhere violates the First Amendment and gives the government too much say in the personal lives of its citizens.
Calvert addresses the question: “Is the counseling itself speech protected by the First Amendment? Or is it conduct?” He claims the decision is important “because if it is merely regulating the medical profession, that can be regulated much more easily than if it involves a First Amendment right such as free speech.”