Sorry, California, but you can't ban gay-to-straight "conversion" therapy for minors just yet, a federal judge ruled yesterday. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law in September prohibiting so-called "gay cures," the first law of its kind in the US. But the judge found that the law, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, could inhibit the First Amendment rights of therapists. He signed a temporary injunction blocking the ban from being applied to the three plaintiffs whose lawsuit against the ban will ultimately go to trial, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The law "likely ... bans a mental health provider from expressing his or her viewpoints about homosexuality as part of ... treatment," the judge wrote in his ruling. Supporters of the law say conversion therapy patients are at risk of committing suicide, but the judge said their evidence is "based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies." Says the president of the group opposing the law, "This victory sends a clear signal to all those who feel they can stifle religious freedom, free speech, and the rights of parents without being contested." (Read more California stories.)