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Legislator Makes Another Push For Conversion Therapy Ban

Civil rights protections for the LGBT community will have to wait until at least next year.
Ted Eytan via Flickr

An openly gay lawmaker is once again trying to put an end to conversion therapy in Florida. For years, Representative David Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat, has been trying to pass a ban on conversion therapy. That’s the practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The mainstream medical community discredits the so-called therapy, which is why Richardson hopes to prevent licensed medical professions from engaging in the practice.

“I want it to be eliminated 100%. So I want to send a message that this therapy, which is not therapy at all, should not be and will not be engaged in in the state of Florida,” Richardson said.

Richardson says the process can be traumatic, especially for young people.

“In many cases, the sessions are designed to shame people, because of the thinking that they have, that they were born with. And that’s very damaging,” he said.

But leaders in the state Legislature have repeatedly blocked the bill, without hearing any discussion or taking any votes.

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.