05-23-2018  3:42 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Lawmakers hold hearing to discuss Oregon dairy's downfall

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers are asking questions about what went wrong with a large dairy that is facing a lawsuit, regulatory problems and bankruptcy in an effort to find ways to prevent a similar situation in the future.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:_____The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 23, on rebuilding faith in police oversight board:Derek Ashton, an attorney representing former Portland Police Chief Larry O'Dea, didn't mince words in criticizing a committee's recommendation that O'Dea lose his police...

Tanker spills 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt near Cle Elum

CLE ELUM, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a tanker rolled spilling about 3,500 gallons of liquid asphalt as it was taking an exit off Interstate 90 near Cle Elum.KOMO-TV reports the incident happened Wednesday when the tanker took the exit and went off the shoulder.The Washington State Patrol...

Amazon, Starbucks pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and others have pledged more than 0,000 toward repealing Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least million in gross...

OPINION

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Video of Bucks guard's arrest in Milwaukee to be released

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are poised to release body camera footage Wednesday from the officers who used a stun gun on NBA Bucks guard Sterling Brown during a January arrest.The release comes as city officials who've viewed the videos have expressed concern about how officers...

Offshore worker alleges bias in federal lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An African-American offshore oil worker has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was intimidated on the job by a supervisor who drew a picture of him dangling from a high rig structure while surrounded by co-workers in Ku Klux Klan hats.The lawsuit claims the worker was...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Deadliest Catch' star pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

SEATTLE (AP) — Celebrity crab-boat captain Sig Hansen has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he spat on an Uber driver last year in Seattle.The Seattle Times reports (https://bit.ly/2s3scWE) the 52-year-old "Deadliest Catch" star pleaded guilty Wednesday.Under the plea deal, a...

Lawyer: Harvey Weinstein targeted by federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Harvey Weinstein's lawyer said in a court filing that federal prosecutors in New York have launched a criminal investigation into the film producer, in addition to a previously disclosed probe by the Manhattan District Attorney.Attorney Benjamin Brafman said in a...

Comedian Josh Denny not sorry about N-word tweets

NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian and Food Network host Josh Denny has called his tweets using the N-word and comparing use of "straight white male" to the racial slur as "very incendiary," but he said he's not sorry.The host of "Ginormous Food" appeared on Van Lathan's podcast "The Red Pill" on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

BE MINE: Maker of candy hearts, Necco Wafers sold at auction

BOSTON (AP) — The bankrupt 171-year-old candy maker known for its chalky Necco Wafers and those little...

Estimated 7,000 bodies may be buried at former asylum

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Some of the boxes stacked inside anthropologist Molly Zuckerman's laboratory...

Stand or stay out of sight: NFL takes on anthem protesters

ATLANTA (AP) — NFL owners approved a new policy Wednesday aimed at quelling the firestorm over national...

French government orders evacuation of Paris migrant camps

PARIS (AP) — Police are preparing to dismantle makeshift camps holding close to 2,500 migrants in the...

2 patients who fled Ebola ward among the dead in Congo

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Two infected patients who fled from an Ebola treatment center in a Congo city of 1.2...

Summits give aged North Korean spies hope of returning home

GWANGJU, South Korea (AP) — He's spent nearly six decades trapped on enemy soil, surviving 29 years in a...

Mark Morgenstein CNN

(CNN) -- Two therapists who try to turn gay people straight, along with a student who says he was successfully converted to heterosexuality, are suing nearly two dozen California state officials, including Gov. Jerry Brown, saying a new state law infringes on their civil rights.

The plaintiffs' legal team will file a motion sometime this month seeking an injunction before the law goes into effect, attorney Matt McReynolds told CNN on Thursday.



The legislation known as Senate Bill 1172 -- which the state Senate passed in May, Brown signed into law this weekend, and will take effect January 1 -- prohibits attempts to change the sexual orientation of patients under age 18.

"We have not seen the state of California go this far before in trying to restrict speech," McReynolds said.

The non-profit Pacific Justice Institute, whom McReynolds works for, filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court on behalf of family therapist Donald Welch, psychiatrist Dr. Anthony Duk, and Aaron Bitzer, who is studying to become a therapist, and who court papers say "seeks to share his personal experiences with future patients as a mental health professional."

The institute describes itself as a "legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties."

The plaintiffs say they're seeking a judgment finding the new law unconstitutional, injunctions against the law's enforcement, and attorney's fees, according to the legal complaint.

Among other concerns, the complaint details arguments that SB 1172 violates Californians' rights to privacy, freedom of religion, and due process.

"Certainly, the religious freedom aspect is very strong in this case," McReynolds said.

The American Psychiatric Association -- which is the world's largest of its kind, with more than 36,000 members -- has determined that sexual orientation change efforts, as the complaint calls the controversial therapy, pose a great risk, including increasing the likelihood or severity of depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior for those undergoing therapy. Therapists' alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already felt by patients, the association says.

"This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide," Brown recently tweeted. "These practices have no basis in science or medicine."

Earlier this year, psychiatrist Robert L. Spitzer apologized for his 2003 study of reparative therapy in which he suggested that the practice could help gays and lesbians become straight. He said the study was deeply flawed.

"I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy," Spitzer said in a letter to the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior. "I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some 'highly motivated' individuals."

But according to the complaint, when Bitzer underwent "therapy described in the statute as" sexual orientation change efforts and reparative therapy, he "found it quite helpful in achieving his goals." Bitzer had "experienced same-sex attractions. ... However, he never believed the simplistic message of the Gay Community, which states that 'we are born this way and should just live accordingly,'" the complaint says.

The case revolves around a legal issue, not a moral one, according to McReynolds.

"It's not a debate in court about whether reparative therapy is a good thing, or how well it works, so much as it is a debate of the role of the government dictating to professionals, patients, and religious institutions what their options are going to be in that area," he said.

David Pickup, a spokesman for the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, told CNN on Monday his group would file its own lawsuit against the new statute.

"We do competent therapy, therapy that truly works," said Pickup, who said he underwent such therapy and now administers it to others.

A summons filed on Wednesday requires that each of the defendants respond to the Pacific Justice Institute with an answer to the complaint within 21 days after receiving the paperwork. Beyond Brown, the defendants include state officials Anna Caballero and Denise Brown, as well as the members of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the Medical Board of California.

The first scheduled court hearing in the case is a pretrial scheduling conference on January 22, according to court papers. However, McReynolds said he expects the court will respond to a motion for a preliminary injunction by setting a hearing date later this year, prior to the January 1 implementation of the new law.

CNN's Josh Levs contributed to this story.

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