H-NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Dec 4, 2012 10:14 AM by Associated Press

Judge intervenes on therapy to change sexual orientation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal judge in California is temporarily prohibiting the state from enforcing a first-of-its-kind law that bars licensed therapists from working to change the sexual orientations of gay minors.

U.S. District Judge William Shubb ruled late Monday that the First Amendment rights of mental health professionals who engage in "reparative" or "conversion" therapy outweigh concerns that the practice poses a danger to young people.

Shubb limited the scope of his order, however, by saying that it applies only to the three Southern California therapists who have sued to overturn the ban in his Sacramento court, and only until he can hold a trial on the merits of their case.

Another federal judge in Sacramento is considering similar arguments from four more counselors, two families and a professional association of Christian counselors, but hasn't decided whether to block the ban from taking effect Jan. 1.

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