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.

"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.”

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