Therapists who counsel patients under 18 years of age on changing their sexual orientation to avoid homosexuality won an emergency order from a federal appeals court in San Francisco temporarily blocking a California law that outlaws the practice.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco granted a request by therapist David Pickup and others who are suing to overturn the law signed signed Sept. 30 by California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat.
``California was correct to outlaw this unsound and harmful practice, and the attorney general will vigorously defend this law,'' Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for California Attorney General Kamala Harris, said in an e-mailed statement.
The opponents of the law appealed a Dec. 4 ruling by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento, who said citizens donít have a right to choose a mental health treatment the state has deemed harmful to minors. Parents seeking the therapy can still get it through churches or unlicensed providers, Mueller said.