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US: Appeals court upholds California gay conversion therapy ban

Lawyer Shannon Minter says practice has 'no scientific basis'

Lawyer Shannon Minter says gay conversion therapy is a practice that has 'no scientific basis and can cause serious, lasting harms.' Credit:

The US Court of Appeals ruled Jan 29 that a California law banning gay conversion therapy for minors can remain in place, the San Jose Mercury reports. 

After it was passed in 2012, conversion therapists challenged the law, saying it restricted their free speech. In August, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that the ban was acceptable regulation of a dangerous medical practice; now, the full court has confirmed the ruling.

"These practices have no scientific basis and can cause serious, lasting harms that devastate families and destroy young lives," says Shannon Minter, an attorney who defended the law in court.

Three of 27 judges on the court said that the law should be given further review. The only recourse for proponents of gay conversion therapy in California now that the ban has been upheld would be to appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court.