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Court puts Californian gay conversion ban on hold

23 december 2012, 10:30
A US court put on hold Friday a new Californian law banning a form of therapy designed to change the sexual orientation of minors, pending a further appeal, AFP reports.

The law barring doctors from performing so-called "reparative therapy" was signed by California governor Jerry Brown in October, and was due to go into force on Jan 4.

But a three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request for an injunction, putting it on hold until a decision is made on its constitutionality, the LA Times reported.

"Appellants' emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal is granted," said the three-line legal document, posted on the court's website.

Under the law, doctors would not be able to provide therapy that seeks "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

Brown said in October that the therapy -- which experts say can cause psychological harm to youngsters including driving them to suicidal thoughts -- should be "relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender (LGBT) rights groups had lobbied hard for California to pass the legislation, and were quick to praise the governor in October.

The Human Rights Campaign had sent Brown a petition with nearly 50,000 signatures ahead of a deadline for the governor to sign the bill into law, along with other pieces of legislation.

There was no immediate responsde from Brown to Friday's court injunction.

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