Appeals court puts gay therapy ban on hold, for now

SAN FRANCISCO Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:55am IST

Bernie Liang (L), and Ryan Hamachek, show their rings after getting married outside Seattle City Hall in Seattle, Washington December 9, 2012. REUTERS/Cliff Despeaux/Files

Bernie Liang (L), and Ryan Hamachek, show their rings after getting married outside Seattle City Hall in Seattle, Washington December 9, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Cliff Despeaux/Files

Related Topics

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California ban on controversial therapy designed to reverse homosexuality in children cannot be enforced while the constitutionality of the law is being challenged in court, a U.S. appeals court ruled late on Friday.

California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed the ban into law in September, making the nation's most populous state the first to ban so-called conversion therapy among youths.

Earlier this month U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller denied an injunction request against the law filed by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and the American Association of Christian Counselors, as well as unnamed individuals who sued shortly after the law was signed.

Those groups appealed Mueller's ruling. In a brief order on Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco put the law on hold during the appeals process. The law had been scheduled to take effect January 1.

"California was correct to outlaw this unsound and harmful practice, and the Attorney General will vigorously defend this law," said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

In a press release on Friday, Liberty Counsel attorneys who represent the plaintiffs praised the order.

"The minors we represent have not and do not want to act on same-sex attractions, nor do they want to engage in such behavior," said lead counsel Matthew Staver.

"They are greatly benefiting from counseling."

In its brief supporting the law, California state attorneys wrote that it regulates professional conduct, not constitutionally protected speech.

"The statute is based on a scientific and professional consensus reached decades ago that homosexuality is a normal expression of human sexuality," state attorneys wrote, "and not a disease, condition or disorder in need of a 'cure.'"

Attorneys for both sides are scheduled to file further legal briefs at the 9th Circuit in January.

The case in the 9th Circuit is David H. Pickup et al. vs. Edmund G. Brown et al., 12-17681.

(Reporting By Dan Levine in Oakland, California; editing by Todd Eastham)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts  Full Article 

New President

New President

Indonesian president-elect Jokowi calls for unity after bitter election.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crash

Ukraine Crash

Putin says will use influence on Ukraine rebels, denounces West.  Full Article 

Probe Sought

Probe Sought

Palestinians seek U.N. inquiry into Israel assault on Gaza   Full Article 

Food Safety Scandal

Food Safety Scandal

Safety violations at McDonald's, Yum China supplier company-led - regulator  Full Article 

Death of a Spy

Death of a Spy

Britain does U-turn on ex-KGB agent Litvinenko murder inquiry.  Full Article 

Flights Affected

Flights Affected

U.S., European airlines halt flights to Israel due to instability  Full Article 

Soured Ties

Soured Ties

Turkey's Erdogan acknowledges strains with Obama.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage