Originally published on June 9, 2016 10:37 pm
Miami Beach is the latest city in the country to ban a controversial form of therapy that professes to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity.
The city commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to ban conversion therapy for minors under the age of 18. And from now on, anyone caught practicing it might be slapped with a fine of two-hundred dollars a day.
Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemàn sponsored the ban. She says it was originally championed by a state representative David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, who didn't have much luck trying to make the legislature pass a law against it.
"He came and talked about what conversion therapy is and what he tried to accomplish on a state level. He pled with us to support him in his endeavor to ban conversion therapy starting in the city of Miami Beach and hopefully causing others to take notice and do the same around the state," said Alemàn
While conducting research on the matter, Alemàn connected with people who had undergone the therapy as children.
"As a mother, the thought of having young people, children, who are at the point in their lives where they're developing their identities, be subject to this sort of harmful therapy. To me its just horrific," said Alemàn.
Cities nationwide including Cincinnati and Washington DC have also banned conversion therapy. Miami Beach is the first to ban it in Florida.
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