WFSU News Team
Thu October 10, 2013
Bill Banning Gay-Conversion Therapy Filed In Florida
Following in the footsteps of lawmakers in a handful of other states, a Florida state senator has filed a bill banning so-called “gay-conversion therapy” for children. The American Psychological Association says treatment aimed at changing sexuality hurts young people more often than it helps.
The bill would prohibit licensed mental health practitioners from trying to change the sexual orientation of a minor. Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) sponsored the bill, saying he equates "reparative therapy" with abuse.
“They’re basically told that they have no self-worth, that they’re in some cases not even human and unless they find a way to change that they’ll be shamed and really left on their own for the rest of their lives. It’s despicable," Clemens says.
California and New Jersey were the first two states to ban such procedures. After conversion therapists challenged the law, a circuit court upheld California’s ban this summer.