Advocates of a practice to "cure" gay teens of their homosexuality through therapy won a court fight in California yesterday. A federal appeals court ruled that such "gay conversion" therapies can continue until the constitutionality of a state law blocking the practice is decided, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The law was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, but written briefs won't even be filed until mid-February.
The legislation prohibits counselors and therapists from using what advocates call reparative therapy on anyone under 18, but a group called Liberty Counsel has sued to keep it from taking effect on free-speech grounds. A constitutional law expert cautions against reading too much into yesterday's decision. "This doesn't determine the ultimate outcome by the 9th Circuit," he tells the Los Angeles Times. "It still has to rule on the merits, and it could well go to the Supreme Court. But obviously this is a preliminary loss for supporters of the law."