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Ramon Johnson

NEWS: Ex-Gay Therapy Ban Stalled in California

By December 22, 2012

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Attorneys for a religious liberty group have succeeded in preliminary rounds of what could be a Prop 8-length legal batter over the issue of gay conversion therapy. A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to block the Jan. 1 law pending an lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel (LC), which says the ban preventing mental health professionals from attempting to clinically change a minor's sexual orientation violates freedom of speech.

Under the law, psychologists, psychiatrists, cognitive therapists and other mental health professionals could be disciplined by their licensing boards for subjecting minors to ex-gay or conversion therapy techniques that attempt to change their sexual orientation. The law could reach as far as ex-gay therapy religious groups as well that encourage such behavior.

LATimes Blog notes that support for the law seems divided down party lines. The judges scheduled to determine if the law is unconstitutional "are Alfred T. Goodwin, appointed by President Nixon; Edward Leavy, a President Reagan appointee; and Milan D. Smith Jr., named to the court by President George W. Bush." A federal judge in the lower court that refused to block the law was appointed by Pres. Obama. Yet, her colleague, a George H.W. Bush appointee, supported the appeal.
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