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New York City Is Being Sued For Banning ‘Gay Cure Therapy’

“Dr. Schwartz has a right to use his professional skills to assist patients”

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An anti-LGBT lobbying group is building a legal challenge against New York City law banning gay cure therapy.

The city council passed legislation in 2017 outlawing conversion therapy on minors in the city, before a statewide ban was passed in January 2019.

Dr David Schwartz, an Orthodox Jewish therapist, has launched the legal challenge against the city, alleging the law violates his freedom of speech and religion.

In a January 23 federal court filing, Brooklyn therapist Schwartz alleges that the ban on conversion therapy is in “direct violation of freedom of speech and of free exercise of religion,” because it prevents him from attempting to cure his patients of homosexuality.


The legal challenge was brought by Alliance Defending Freedom, which was listed as an anti-LGBT hate group by civil rights and extremism watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center in February 2017.

The ADF’s lawyers argue: “Dr. Schwartz has a right to use his professional skills to assist patients to live in accordance with their shared religious faith, including the religious mandates of the Torah.

By purporting to prohibit Dr. Schwartz from providing counseling to his fellow Jews that is guided by and consistent with his religious convictions concerning human nature and the possibility of change… the Counseling Censorship Law violates his right to freely exercise his religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

“By purporting to prohibit Dr. Schwartz from providing counseling to his fellow Jews that is guided by and consistent with his religious convictions concerning human nature and the possibility of change… the Counseling Censorship Law violates his right to freely exercise his religion guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

Alliance Defending Freedom counsel Roger Brooks said: “It is difficult to imagine a more direct violation of freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment than New York City’s attempt to regulate the private sessions between an adult and his counselor.

“The city council’s regulation is unprecedented and threatens to stand between Dr. Schwartz’s patients and the lives they choose to pursue.”


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