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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Fate of ban on gay-conversion therapy is uncertain

By Patrick McGreevy


Law and Order from Bigstock




Carefully watched by several states, case has critics asserting that law violates free-speech, parental and religious rights


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)

WACRAMENTO, Calif. — — The fate of the state's new law banning gay-conversion therapy for underage Californians is uncertain after a federal judge said it may infringe on free-speech rights — and a second jurist disagreed.

U.S. District Judge William Shubb said Monday the law, set to take effect Jan. 1, may inhibit the First Amendment rights of therapists who oppose homosexuality. He issued an injunction barring the state from enforcing the measure against three plaintiffs who sued to block it, until he can make a broader ruling on its merits.

Within 24 hours, a second federal judge declined to interfere with the law in a separate case brought by other therapists and parents, who asserted that it violated free-speech, parental and religious rights. That action was immediately appealed.


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Unless the appeal is granted, the law will take effect as scheduled, exempting the two therapists and aspiring therapist who won the injunction, according to the state attorney general's office.

Gay-rights groups defended the first-in-the-nation law that prohibits minors from being subject to therapies aimed at changing their sexual orientation from gay to straight.

"There are a number of other states looking to follow California's example with this law," said Shannon Minter, an attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Minter's group is working with activists in New Jersey to make it the next state to ban controversial conversion practices, which employ techniques such as aversion therapy.

Clinton Anderson of the American Psychological Association, among others, said there is no evidence that conversion therapy works. "Some of the people who went through it say the therapy made their lives worse," said Anderson, who added that depression increased for some.

Anderson said he did not know of other therapies banned by law. The practice of lobotomy was discontinued, but that was by a consensus of the profession, he said.

California's conversion-therapy ban, approved amid an intense lobbying campaign by gay-rights advocates, was one of the signature bills passed by the Legislature this year. Under the law, therapists who practice conversion therapy on minors risk loss of their licenses or other discipline by the state.

State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said she would continue to "vigorously" defend the law as courts weigh its merits.

It is rare that two federal judges on the same district bench reach opposite conclusions on the same issues, legal analysts said.

"If two district court judges come out opposite ways, ultimately the 9th Circuit is going to have to resolve it," said University of California, Irvine, Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.

He said the outcome would depend on how the 9th Circuit views the conversion therapy law. Doctors can't be prohibited from expressing their views to patients, but government may ban a medical procedure or treatment it believes is ineffective or dangerous, Chemerinsky said.

The plaintiffs before Shubb's Sacramento court are a licensed marriage therapist and ordained minister, a psychiatrist and a former conversion therapy client who is studying to practice it on others. They are represented by the conservative Pacific Justice Institute.

"This victory sends a clear signal to all those who feel they can stifle religious freedom, free speech and the rights of parents without being contested," said institute President Brad Dacus.

Shubb wrote in his 38-page ruling that the law, by Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu, "likely … bans a mental health provider from expressing his or her viewpoints about homosexuality as part of … treatment."

The judge also found fault with evidence cited by proponents of the law that conversion therapy puts clients at risk of suicide and depression. He wrote that it is "based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies that may not have included minors."

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento rejected a petition from three other therapists and some of their clients to block enforcement of the law.

Citing the opinions of 10 groups that conversion therapy doesn't work, Mueller ruled the Legislature and governor had sufficient grounds to enact the ban. A study by a task force of the American Psychological Association, she noted, found that conversion therapy can "pose critical health risks" to those who undertake it.

"The findings, recommended practices and opinions of 10 professional associations of mental health experts is no small quantum of information," she wrote.

Mueller also said there is no fundamental right to choose a specific mental health treatment the state has reasonably deemed harmful to minors. Besides, she said, parents are free to seek such counseling through religious institutions as long as licensed therapists are not involved.

"The court need not engage in an exercise of legislative mind reading to find the California Legislature and the state's governor could have had a legitimate reason for enacting SB 1172," Mueller wrote.

That decision was immediately appealed by the plaintiffs, including Los Angeles psychologist Joseph Nicolosi, represented by the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, which represents conservative causes.

Lieu said he expects both cases to be decided in favor of his law.

"On behalf of the untold number of children who can expect to be spared the psychological abuse imposed by reparative therapy, I'm thrilled that today's ruling by Judge Mueller will continue to protect our children from serious harm," Lieu said in a statement.

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© 2012, Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services