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California ban on "ex-gay" therapy on hold for Supreme Court appeal

SAN FRANCISCO -- California’s ban on “conversion” therapy that aims to turn gay youths straight will remain on hold while religious conservatives ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the law in August and reaffirmed its ruling last week. But on Monday, the appeals court granted opponents’ request for a stay while they seek Supreme Court review. In the meantime, the law, passed in 2012, remains unenforced.

National psychiatric and medical organizations say such treatments are deceptive and dangerous, leading in some cases to depression or suicidal impulses. But some Christian legal organizations say the state law violates free speech and the rights of parents to make important medical decisions for their children. They have sued on behalf of therapists, individual parents and children, who they say are struggling with unnatural and unwanted same-sex attractions.

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