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Tallahassee commissioners hear from public about proposed conversion therapy bill

Posted at 6:48 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 18:48:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee Commmission voted unanimously to introduce the bill to ban conversion therapy at the March 25 meeting.

By the end of the month, Tallahassee commissioners will decide if clergy members can practice conversion therapy in the city.

A conversion therapy ban would prohibit the practice on minors. Conversion therapy is commonly practiced in churches as a way to rid someone of a same sex attraction or sexual identity questions.

On Wednesday, they listened to public comment for a second time to see if conversion therapy should be banned.

The conversation first came up in December and brought out dozens of speakers on both sides.

Commissioners ended the December conversation by asking the city attorney to work with Equality Florida to fine tune the proposed ordinance and make it more inclusive.

The ordinance does not prevent mental health providers from expressing their views to patients, prevent mental health providers from recommending conversion therapy or prevent mental health providers from administering conversion therapy to anyone 18 or older.

The ordinance won't allow the city to use city funds or resources to conduct conversion therapy, or refer individuals for conversion therapy, or from offering any benefit to employees that specifically provides coverage for conversion therapy.

If it passes on March 25, Tallahassee will follow at least 22 local Florida jurisdictions that have adopted similar ordinances.