A Democratic state legislator is trying once again to pass legislation to ban the highly controversial practice of “conversion therapy,” which attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Miami state Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez has filed legislation for the 2019 session that would prohibit licensed professional counselors from practicing or performing conversion therapy for an individual “who is younger than a specified age.”
Fourteen states now ban conversion therapy, according to the Movement Advancement Project.
Locally, Broward and Palm Beach Counties have banned the practice in Florida, as have several municipalities.
Rodriguez and Dania Beach Democrat Rep. Evan Jenne filed a similar bill last year, as did two other Democrats the year before, but neither made it to a full vote of the Legislature.
Orlando-based conservative group, Liberty Counsel, is suing to overturn Tampa’s ban on conversion therapy in federal court, claiming the ordinance violates First Amendment privileges. The group previously filed lawsuits challenging conversion therapy bans
that were passed in Palm Beach County and Boca Raton.
A Gravis Marketing poll conducted in the spring of 2017 showed that 71 percent of Floridians said that gay conversion therapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation should be illegal for minors in Florida.