Federal Court Rules Ban on Therapy for Same-Sex Attractions and Gender Identity Unconstitutional
Nov 26, 2020
On Friday, a federal appeals court in Florida ruled against a local law banning so-called “conversion therapy”, saying it violated the First Amendment.
In a 2 -1 decision, the U.S. 11th District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s decision to prohibit enforcement of the ordinances established by Palm Beach County and Boca Raton. The panel ruled that if laws can ban therapists from attempting to change LGBTQ youths' sexual orientation or gender identity, then jurisdictions could also ban therapists from providing support for the same clients.
"If the speech restrictions in these ordinances can stand, then so can their inverse," said the majority opinion written by Judge Barbara Lagoa. "Local communities could prevent therapists from validating a client's same-sex attractions if the city council deemed that message harmful. And the same goes for gender transition -- counseling support a client's gender identification could be banned."
Circuit Judge Britt Grant agreed, stating that while the laws may “allow speech that many find concerning — even dangerous,” the First Amendment “does not allow communities to determine how their neighbors may be counseled about matters of sexual orientation or gender.”
Federal court rules ban on therapy for unwanted attractions unconstitutional
Federal court strikes down conversion therapy bans in Florida