A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit
challenging Maryland's law that prohibits therapies that attempt to
alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender minors.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
According to the
AP, the lawsuit was filed in January by Christopher Doyle, the
executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for
Healthy Families. Doyle claims that the law violates his right to
free speech and religious freedom under the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Deborah Chasanow
rejected his claims and said that such practices harm children.
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,” Chasanow wrote
in her ruling.
Doyle is represented by Liberty
Counsel, a Christian conservative group vocally opposed to LGBT
rights. Liberty Counsel has challenged similar bans in New Jersey and
California. One of Doyle's lawyers said that the ruling would be
The lawsuit names Republican Governor
Larry Hogan, who last year signed the measure into law, and state
Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, as defendants.