Florida State Senator José Javier Rodríguez introduced Senate Bill 84 (SB 84) to protect LGBTQ youth from receiving conversion therapy, which falsely claims to be able to change people’s sexual orientation and gender identity, from licensed mental health practitioners, on November 21, 2018. With SB 84, Florida becomes the first state to introduce legislation to end conversion therapy in the 2019 legislative session.
“In most states it is still legal to force children into conversion therapy and that is wrong. When it comes to this debunked practice, there is no conversion and there is no therapy. So-called conversion therapy does not work because youth are who they are. They should be supported rather than shamed. More importantly, the practice we seek to ban is not therapy.” said Sen. José Javier Rodríguez (D Miami) “The long-term, even lethal, damage it does to youth is well documented. If you’re going to be a licensed practitioner in Florida, refraining from harming our youth with this debunked practice should be a basic requirement.”
A poll released in 2017 showed 71% of Floridians support banning conversion therapy for minors. Twenty local governments in Florida – both cities and counties – have adopted conversion therapy bans, which is more than in any other state in the country.