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Court Approves California Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy View Count: 45

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller rejected a request to block California’s new ban on gay conversion therapy, allowing the progressive California law to take effect from January.

The law, that was sought to be blocked by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and the American Association of Christian Counselors, had been signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown in September. The law seeks to ban gay-conversion therapy aimed at reversing homosexuality in children and teenagers.

Just on Monday, things seemed to be moving in another direction, when U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb had ruled in a case involving the same law, but brought by three individual practitioners, that in case of those three particular individuals, a temporary injunction against the ban may be allowed. However, the temporary injunction would be there pending the resolution of a trial on their companies. The three individuals included two licensed therapists and another person who is training to become a therapist.

But on the very next day, Judge Kimberly held that a blanket block of the ban was uncalled for as “there is no fundamental or privacy right to choose a specific mental health treatment the state has reasonably deemed harmful to minors.”

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The new law bans therapists from trying sexual-orientation change with children and teenagers under the age of 18. The California Psychological Association supported the ban. Gay rights activists have long held that gay-conversion therapy attempts on minors bring psychological harm to gay and lesbian youths and lead to depression and greater harm.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Ted Lieu, said in a statement, “On behalf of the untold number of children who can expect to be spared the psychological abuse imposed by reparative therapy, I’m thrilled that today’s ruling by Judge Mueller will continue to protect our children from serious harm.”

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