This summer, AAMFT joined with the American Psychological Association and other mental health associations in filing two briefs in federal court. The purpose of these briefs, known as amicus briefs, is alert a court to issues relevant to the lawsuit that the parties to the lawsuit might not adequately address. Many professional membership associations file such briefs concerning issues of importance to their members.
In the case Otto v. City of Boca Raton, AAMFT joined in a brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in support of local ordinances passed in Florida that banned conversion therapy with minors. The brief states that there is insufficient evidence to support conversion therapy and that conversion therapy poses significant risks to clients, especially minors.
In the second case, which is a combination of three cases (Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; Altitude Express v. Zarda; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC), AAMFT joined in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court pertaining to whether federal law prohibiting discrimination in employment settings applies to LGBT employees. The brief reviews the scientific literature and concludes that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex, and that federal employment law that prohibits sex discrimination should include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The courts in both cases recently received these cases on appeal from a lower court. Decisions are not expected anytime soon, and a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in the second case is not expected until next year.