Evangelicals suing Maryland over gay cure therapy ban

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel is seeking to challenge a ban on gay cure therapy

Evangelical law firm Liberty Counsel has launched a legal challenge against Maryland’s ban on gay cure therapy.

Maryland is among 16 US states that have passed laws banning gay cure therapy for minors, seeking to tackle damaging attempts to ‘cure’ LGBT+ teens.

However, anti-LGBT law firm Liberty Counsel is looking to have the gay cure therapy ban struck down, filing a federal lawsuit on January 21 seeking an injunction barring it from coming into effect.

The law firm claims religious therapists have a right to provide “therapy to children and adolescents who want to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion,” arguing the law infringes on Constitutional religious freedom and free speech protections.

Liberty Counsel: Gay cure therapy ban ‘violates religious freedom’

Liberty Counsel chair Mat Staver said: “This counseling ban is unconstitutional and causes harm to counselors and clients in Maryland.

“The law is a gross intrusion into the fundamental rights of counselors and clients. Every person should have access to the counselor of their choice.

“No government has the authority to prohibit a form of counseling simply because it does not like the religious or moral beliefs of a particular counselor or client.”

Liberty Counsel has filed a spate of lawsuits challenging LGBT+ rights protections in the past few months, seeking to capitalise on a conservative US Supreme Court majority that is likely to side against LGBT+ rights in most key decisions.

Liberty Counsel is listed anti-LGBT hate group

Liberty Counsel is best known for representing embattled Kentucky clerk Kim Davis when she refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples after a US Supreme Court decision to legalise gay marriage.

The law firm recently lobbied to strip LGBT+ protections from an anti-lynching bill.

Gay cure therapy lawsuit: Founder and Chairman of the Liberty Counsel Mat Staver

Founder and Chairman of the Liberty Counsel Mat Staver speaks during live nativity scene outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on December 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Zach Gibson/Getty)

Liberty Counsel is classified as a hate group by extremism watchdog the Southern Poverty Law Center due to its extreme views and history of spreading anti-LGBT propaganda.

Mat Staver previously made a false claim that first responders at the 2016 Pulse gay club attack had to “get tested for AIDS-related conditions” because of the blood of gay victims.

Liberty Counsel has previously admitted helping state Republican lawmakers to draft anti-LGBT legislation, as well as attempting to push anti-LGBT laws around the world.