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Federal Court Puts California's Ex-Gay Therapy Ban On Hold

Federal Court Puts California's Ex-Gay Therapy Ban On Hold

A federal appeals court ordered a hold on implementation of a California law that would have banned so-called ex-gay therapy on minors on Friday, reports CNN. The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September, was the first of its kind in the nation to prohibit licensed therapists from using the scientifically discredited practice that aims to change a person's sexual orientation from gay to straight. The law would have gone into effect January 1. 

The three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals ordered an injunction Friday, stopping the law from taking effect until the case can be heard in future court hearings. A California district court ruling earlier this month exempted three therapists from adhering to the law, but allowed the law to move forward uninhibited. This ruling goes against that decision by a lower court. 

The California Attorney General's office, which supports the legislation, said it will fight to uphold the law. 

"California was correct to outlaw this unsound and harmful practice, and the attorney general will vigorously defend this law," Lynda Gledhill, of the California Attorney General's office, told Towleroad.

Liberty Counsel, a right-wing organization and party to the suit challenging the law, was elated with the injunction. 

"This law is an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and would have caused irreparable harm," said Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver.

"Ex-gay therapy," sometimes called reparative therapy by its proponents, has been condemned by every major medical and psychological organization in the country as harmful and dangerous. 

"There has been no scientifically adequate research that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective," said the American Psychological Association.  

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