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Tallahassee Passes Conversion Therapy Ban On Minors, Vulnerable Adults

Advocates gathered outside Hotel Duval to protest Freedom Speaks, an organization that supports conversion therapy.
Robbie Gaffney
/
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Advocates gathered outside Hotel Duval to protest Freedom Speaks, an organization that supports conversion therapy.
Credit Robbie Gaffney / WFSU
/
The Florida Channel
Late last year, LGBTQ-rights advocates gathered outside Hotel Duval to protest Freedom Speaks, an organization that supports conversion therapy.

Tallahassee's city commission started considering whether it should ban conversion therapy toward the end of last year. The practice attempts to change someone's sexual orientation and gender identity.

Commission meetings on the issue have drawn heated debate. Some argue parents should have the right to take their child to a therapist and request that therapist to change the child's gender identity or sexual orientation. Others call that abuse. The conversion therapy ban ordinance lists numerous medical organizations that view the practice as ineffective and harmful. 

“Wish everybody could be here to celebrate. Really, our city standing up for some of our most vulnerable people and really in the middle of a pandemic I think this is even a better opportunity to really stand you know, united as one city,” city commissioner Jeremy Matlow says as the city voted unanimously Wednesday to pass the ban. 

Matlow notes he's been in favor of the ban since the beginning.

Licensed providers can still recommend conversion therapy and practice it on adults who aren't wards of a plenary guardian. Mental health providers would still be able to express their views on LGBTQ issues.

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Robbie Gaffney is a recent graduate from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.