A federal appeals court in San
Francisco on Friday issued an emergency order blocking the January 1
start of California's ban on “ex-gay” therapy to minors.
Senate Bill 1172 outlaws therapies
which promise to alter the sexual orientation of minors from gay to
straight. Such practices are called “reparative” or “conversion”
therapy. The measure was sponsored by state Senator Ted Lieu and
signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in October. It is the
nation's first such law but lawmakers in New Jersey are preparing to
debate a similar measure.
to the AP, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals postponed the law's start until it can hear a legal
challenge. The court reversed a district court's refusal to put the
law on hold.
The lawsuit was filed by the National
Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH),
which strongly opposed passage of the law. The organization is
represented by the Christian conservative Liberty Counsel, which has
a long record of opposing LGBT rights.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver
said his organization was pursuing legal action because the law
promotes “child endangerment” and “will destroy many lives.”
“If a young boy molested by the likes
of a Jerry Sandusky develops severe emotional distress and unwanted
same-sex sexual attractions, this law will force the counselor to
tell the boy that his feelings are normal and good,” Staver said.
“If the counselor seeks to reduce or eliminate the stress caused by
his client's molestation, the counselor will commit an ethical
violation. That is child endangerment!”
“Jerry Sandusky would welcome a law
like SB 1172.”
“This law is an outrage and it will
destroy many lives and wreck the counseling profession,” he