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N.J. Gay-Therapy Ban Debated in U.S. Appeals Court

New Jersey asked a federal appeals court to uphold a state law banning licensed therapists from seeking to change a child’s sexual orientation, likening such talk-therapy to castration and lobotomy.

The 2013 statute prohibits psychiatrists, therapists and social workers from engaging in practices designed to change the sexual orientation of anyone under age 18. The state is seeking the imprimatur of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia after the U.S. Supreme Court last month declined to hear a constitutional challenge to a similar law.