Bill SB 84 would thus prohibit licensed mental health practitioners and counselors from attempting “to change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors.
These specialists may be subject to discipline by both the department of health and the governing board of their counseling or medical association. They could even be banned from exercising.
However, this bill does not include clergy licensed therapists who can practice this kind of “cures” on LGBT youth.
Last year, Senator Rodriguez had already cosponsored a similar bill with Democrat rep. Evan Jenne, but the Florida legislature had blocked it.
“In most states, it is still legal to force children into conversion therapy and that is wrong,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “When it comes to this debunked practice, there is no conversion and there is no therapy. So-called conversion therapy does not work because youth are who they are. They should be supported rather than shamed.
“More importantly, the practice we seek to ban is not therapy,” Rodriguez added. “The long-term, even lethal, damage it does to youth is well documented. If you’re going to be a licensed practitioner in Florida, refraining from harming our youth with this debunked practice should be a basic requirement.”
As for the Floridians, in the spring of 2017, the poll organized by Gravis Marketing showed that 71% of them are in favor of a “conversion therapies” ban for young LGBT people.
As we saw last week, a national effort has been launched to prohibit “conversion therapies” for minors across all US states.
In Florida, several municipalities already prohibit “anti-gay cures” like Tampa, Miami, Palm Beach County, and Broward County but there are still many places that do not ban them yet, a state law would be so welcome.