Tina Polsky and Michael Grieco refile legislation to ban conversion therapy on minors.
By Sharon Aron Baron
Conversion therapy is defined as any practice or treatment performed on an individual to change their sexual orientation. Examples of this pseudo-scientific therapy can include shaming, or emotionally traumatic or physically painful stimuli, hoping that the victim will associate those stimuli with their identities.
Senator Tina Polsky (D-Boca Raton), who also represents Parkland, Coconut Creek Margate, and Representative Michael Grieco (D- Miami Beach), hopes to prohibit this practice of performing conversion therapy on minors. With Grieco filing HB301 and the Senate bill number pending.
Currently, under Florida law, conversion therapy is legal, and recently the 11th U.S. Circuit Court upheld the practice as protected under free speech.
In the bill, Over 700,000 members of the LGBTQ community have been subjected to this practice, expecting that tens of thousands of LGBTQ youth will also fall victim.
Senator Polsky said that it is time for the state of Florida to stand up against this cruel and invalid practice that so many of our cities have had the good sense to ban.
“The state does not do nearly enough to protect our LGBTQ residents, and this bill is an important step in the right direction.”
According to the American Psychological Association, there is a growing body of evidence that LGBTQ discrimination is a major source of stress.
This scientifically invalid, disproven practice can lead to depression, anxiety, self-destructive behavior, and fractured families, with studies showing that LGBTQ youth who are rejected by their families are more than eight times more likely to attempt suicide. This year’s version of the bill has been truncated to stay within the constitutional limitations addressed in the recent federal appellate decision.
Polsky added that our vulnerable youth’s mental health should be our first concern, and we need to ban these dangerous practices.
“Florida must stand up for our kids and against a widely disproven therapy which borders upon abuse; that is why this bill is needed.”
If passed, Florida would be one of 16 states to pass a ban on conversion therapy, and practitioners in violation would be subject to disciplinary proceedings in this state.
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- Sharon Aron Baron is a Parkland resident and editor of Talk Media. She has been covering Parkland news since 2012. Parkland Talk was created to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Parkland.
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