Court Blocks Calif. Gay Conversion Ban

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 22 2012 7:03 AM

Appeals Court Puts Hold on California Gay Conversion Ban

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A man waves a gay pride flag outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A federal appeals court has blocked the implementation of California’s new law banning gay conversion therapy for minors. The first law of its kind in the nation was supposed to have gone into effect Jan. 1 but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to block the law until there is a ruling on whether it is constitutional, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The judges didn’t give a reason for their decision Friday, except noting that the “appellants' emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal is granted.” Liberty Counsel, a religious group that sued to block the implementation of the law on free-speech grounds, celebrated the decision, saying it was “never routine” for a preliminary injunction to be granted pending appeal, contending it demonstrates how the court believes an appeal has a “likelihood of success.” The two sides have until mid-February to file briefs on the case, points out the San Francisco Chronicle.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.