A federal appeals court shortly before Christmas blocked a California ban on "reparative therapy," giving concerned parents the right -- for now -- to seek counsel for a child with homosexual tendencies, WORLD News Service reports. The first-of-its-kind ban would have gone into effect Jan. 1, before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law on hold until the court can hear full arguments on the measure's constitutionality. The law, passed by the legislature and approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in the fall, says therapists and counselors who use "sexual orientation change efforts" on minors would be practicing unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards. Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel, who is representing reparative therapy practitioners and recipients in a suit seeking to overturn the ban, applauded the court's decision to grant his request to delay its implementation. "The law is an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and would have caused irreparable harm."