By Mary Slosson
SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday cleared the way for a landmark California law that bars a controversial therapy aimed at reversing homosexuality in children and teenagers to take effect in January.
California's Democratic Governor Jerry Brown signed the ban into law in September, making the nation's most populous state the first to ban so-called conversion therapy among youths.
U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly Mueller denied an injunction request against the law filed by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and the American Association of Christian Counselors, as well as unnamed individuals who sued shortly after the law was signed.
"The court finds there is no fundamental or privacy right to choose a specific mental health treatment the state has reasonably deemed harmful to minors," Mueller wrote in a 44-page decision.
The ruling came one day after another federal judge chose to allow an injunction against the law stemming from a different lawsuit, but only applied the ruling to three individuals: Two licensed therapists and one aspiring therapist.
U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb ruled the trio would temporarily not be subject to the legislation pending resolution of a trial on their complaints.
The law bars therapists from performing sexual-orientation change counseling with children and teenagers under 18. It was supported by the California Psychological Association. Continued...