SENATOR CLEMENS FIGHTS TO PROTECT LGBT YOUTH/Bill would stop sexual orientation change therapy on children under 18
TALLAHASSEE, FL — Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) wants to end the cruel practice of forcing minors to attend so-called “therapy” designed to attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation.
Senate Bill 240 will prevent licensed mental health providers from practicing sexual orientation change therapy on children under the age of 18.
“A person’s sexual orientation is not a disease, disorder, or illness that requires treatment,’ Clemens said. “Every study by the major medical and mental health organizations has denounced the practice of sexual orientation change therapy, concluding that such therapy is harmful to children and adults.”
Many conversion treatments rely on practices that inflict physical harm as well as psychological damage, while experts maintain that there is insufficient evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation. Instead, abusive attempts to change sexual orientation have caused serious and lasting harm. There have been initiatives in other states to bring awareness to the practice of conversion therapy as bogus and unethical. In most cases, these conversion therapy efforts have been labeled as non-scientific and dangerous.
“This type of abuse of our youth by people selling themselves as mental health professionals is unacceptable,” said Clemens. “If we’re really interested in protecting the children of Florida, that protection should extend to every child.”
Florida Senate Democratic Office