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Calif. conversion therapy ban put on hold pending Supreme Court review

Monday, February 3, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO — California’s ban on conversion therapy for minors, the controversial practice that aims to turn gay youths straight, will remain on hold while opponents of the ban ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Monday granted opponents’ request for a stay while they seek a Supreme Court review.

The landmark legislation (SB 1172), passed in 2012, prohibits licensed counselors from offering treatment geared toward changing the sexual orientation of minors, a practice also referred to as reparative therapy.

The statute was challenged by therapists who argued that the law violated their right to freedom of speech.

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On Aug. 29, 2013, a panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the law was a permissible regulation of medical treatment to protect public health and safety, and did not violate the free speech rights of therapists.

Last week, the appeals court refused to reconsider its August 2013 ruling .

Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal aid group that challenged the law, said it would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.

New Jersey enacted a similar law in 2013. A federal district court upheld New Jersey’s law on November 8, 2013, and that law is currently the subject of an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

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