On Friday, a federal court issued an emergency order putting California’s pending reparative-therapy ban on hold until arguments are heard on an appeal against the measure.
The law, passed earlier this fall and signed by Governor Jerry Brown, was scheduled to take effect January 1, 2013.
But two counselors who practice the discredited therapy, and parents who say their teenage sons benefited from it, are asking for an injunction against the ban, which only applies to minors.
They are being represented by attorneys from Liberty Counsel, an anti-gay legal group.
Friday’s ruling doesn’t invalidate the law, though—it only stalls its enactment until a different court rules if it violates parents and therapists’ First Amendment rights.
“This law is politically motivated to interfere with counselors and clients,” said Liberty Counsel director Matt Staver. [It's] an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and would have caused irreparable harm.”
Earlier this month, Judge William Shubb issued an injunction against the ban while it worked its way through the courts, but only for the three counselors involved in the case before him.