Appeals court blocks California’s reparative therapy ban
SAN FRANCISCO, December 21, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com—The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted a California law that would prevent psychologists from helping people who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction.
The appeals court, based in San Francisco, issued the injunction against the ban on reparative therapy on Friday, pending the appeal of Pickup v. Brown.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge William Shubb granted an injunction for the three defendants in a case brought before him, adding that the law would likely be struck down for violating the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
However, the next day U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller refused to grant a stay in a separate case brought by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), and a number of unnamed physicians
On Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court granted an injunction that halts the law’s implementation statewide until it can rule on the case. It did not indicate when that ruling may occur.
The lawyer representing NARTH hailed the court order.
“The minors we represent…have struggled with same-sex attraction and have been able to reduce or eliminate the stress and conflict in their lives by receiving counseling that best aligns with their religious and moral values,” said Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, who is representing the plaintiffs.
“Without this emergency injunction, the State of California would essentially barge into the private therapy rooms of victimized young people and tell them that their confusion – caused by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky abuser – is normal and they should pursue their unwanted same-sex sexual attractions and behavior,” Staver said.
Staver argues this is an infringement of the teens’ rights – and those of their parents.
Democratic State Senator Ted Lieu, the law’s author, admitted, “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill.” The state legislature passed the bill in August.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the law, which was to take effect on January 1.
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Lawmakers in the state of New Jersey are considering passing a similar ban.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey-based reparative therapy group JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives of Healing) for consumer fraud, on the grounds that the therapy does not cure all patients. JONAH has secured the services of famed lawyer Charles LiMandri as its counsel.