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Judge puts hold on ‘reparative therapy’ ban for minors

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A federal appeals court blocked a California law banning “reparative therapy” or therapy that attempts to turn gay people heterosexual, for minors, reported the AP.

The ban, signed into law a few months ago by the California legislature, will not go into effect on Jan. 1 as scheduled. The law is now on hold until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments regarding the law’s constitutionality and whether it violates the First Amendment.

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“This law is an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and would have caused irreparable harm,” said Matthew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel, which is representing a group of individuals who either practice or have received “reparative therapy.”

Press secretary for California Attorney General Kamala Harris said, “California was correct to outlaw this unsound and harmful practice, and the attorney general will vigorously defend this law.”

In 2009, the American Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that “there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.” A psychologist who led a panel analyzing data on reparative therapy told the New York Times, “The religious psychotherapists have to open up their eyes to the potential positive aspects of being gay or lesbian. Secular therapists have to recognize that some people will choose their faith over their sexuality.”

[Image: A judge and a gavel via Shutterstock, all rights reserved]


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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Lady Antebellum changed their name for racial sensitivity — now they’re suing the Black singer who already used the name

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In June, as the national conversation about racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing pushed many groups and organizations to examine the racial connotations of their brands, the country music group Lady Antebellum announced they were changing their name to "Lady A" to remove reference to the slavery period of Southern history.

There was just one problem: an African-American blues singer in Seattle, Anita White, already went by that name. Now, according to Pitchfork, the band is going to court for the right to use the trademark.

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