Miami-Dade rejects ban on conversion therapyAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
Miami-Dade commissioners have rejected a ban on gay-conversion therapy for minors.
The Miami Herald reports that the 4 to 7 vote followed hours of public testimony, most of it from opponents of the proposed ordinance by Commissioner Sally Heyman. Supporters wanted Miami-Dade to join a list of local governments banning the discredited practice of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation, but critics saw the ordinance as so broadly worded that it could ensnare a pastor’s sermon or a parent expressing concerns about a child’s choices on sexual activity.
“What we heard from the Commission today is that, in the face of an extreme campaign of outrageous lies and misinformation, they needed more time to fully understand this issue,” said Equality Florida’s Senior Policy Director Hannah Willard. “We are confident that, given the facts, the Commission will come to fully understand the devastating and sometimes lethal impact of conversion therapy. We are also committed to continuing the public education that has led to 14 municipalities passing similar ordinances across the state. We look forward to the moment when Miami-Dade County supports this policy and joins us in protecting LGBTQ youth from grave danger.”
The ordinance would have applied only to counselors operating outside of city limits in Miami-Dade, since the commission has direct authority over local regulations for the county’s “unincorporated” areas, the report continues. Miami, Miami Beach and other cities have already enacted local bans on conversion therapy, and the commission vote marks a significant victory for the churches and advocacy groups fighting the restrictions across the county.
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