2nd judge refuses to block ban on sexual-orientation ‘conversion’ therapy


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The day after a federal judge cast doubt on a new state law banningsexual-orientation therapy for minors, a second judge issued a ruling upholding it. According to Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the California attorney general, the ban on sexual-orientation therapy will take effect Jan. 1 as scheduled for everyone except two therapists and an aspiring therapist who sued to keep the ban from taking effect.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge William Shubb ruled that the law may inhibit the 1st Amendment rights of therapists who oppose homosexuality. He issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state from enforcing the ban, the first of its kind in the nation, against the three plaintiffs pending a broader ruling on its merits.


‘The reality is those three individuals are not subject to the law, so [the initial ruling] is very narrow,’ Gledhill said.

In Tuesday’s ruling, in a case brought by opponents asserting that the law violates free-speech, religious and parental rights, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller said the Legislature and governor had enough grounds to enact such a law, given that multiple mental health groups, including the American Psychological Assn., have discredited the therapy.

‘The court need not engage in an exercise of legislative mind reading to find the California Legislature and the state’s Governor could have had a legitimate reason for enacting SB 1172,’’ Mueller wrote in declining to issue a temporary injunction.

State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), author of the law, said he expects the first case to be decided in favor of it.

‘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,” Lieu said in a statement.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

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