Alachua County Passes Ban On Conversion Therapy
GAINESVILLE, FL - In a unanimous vote, Alachua County just moved to ban so-called “conversion therapy” on minors. With this historic decision, Alachua County becomes the first county in North Florida to ban this dangerous practice as a form of child abuse, loudly and unequivocally denouncing the debunked practice.
“Today our local elected leaders bravely confirmed that this community protects LGBTQ children from the emotional harm and scarring caused by the attempts of licensed mental health professionals to force a ‘change’ upon the core identities of these minors,” said Donn Smith-Lopez, Alachua County resident and Equality Florida Statewide Board Member. “We are proud to be the first county in North Florida to pass a ban on this form of child abuse after the City of Gainesville led the way last spring. Sadly, many innocent children in other cities and counties without similar protections will continue to suffer from this heinous conduct until there is a statewide law to ban this shameful practice.”
Conversion therapy is both fraudulent and dangerous, irreparably damaging its victims with no regard for the consequences. Equality Florida applauds the Alachua County Commission, the Human Rights Council of North Central Florida, the Pride Center of North Central Florida, and advocates for the wellbeing of our community for this victory. LGBTQ youth are our most vulnerable, and banning the harmful practice of conversion therapy is an important step forward to ensure those young people feel safe, loved, and affirmed.
“Equality Florida has been so proud to support passage of this historic ordinance and appreciates the work of organizations like Southern Poverty Law Center and others that continue to work to pass conversion therapy bans around the state,” said Equality Florida Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer. “Victory in Alachua County is a critical step towards banning the dangerous practice of conversion therapy statewide and making sure that every single child can grow up knowing that they are born perfect and valued for exactly who they are.”