Supporters, opponents respond to ban on gay conversion therapy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gay rights advocates are making plans to get other states to join California in banning psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight, even as opponents go to federal court to prevent the law from taking effect on Jan. 1.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from using reparative or conversion therapies with clients under age 18. Its sponsor, state Sen. Ted Lieu, says such therapies have no medical basis and can cause depression and even suicide.

The law only applies to licensed therapists, not ministers or lay people who counsel teens to resist same-sex attractions.

But Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver (STAY'-ver) says a lawsuit will be filed on behalf of therapists who try to help clients change their sexual orientation or reduce same-sex attraction, parents who seek such therapy for their children and teens who currently are undergoing it.

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