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Michael Grieco again pushing for Florida to adopt conversion therapy ban

“LGBTQ Floridians deserve to have their rights protected like every other person in this state.”

Rep. Michael Grieco has refiled legislation (HB 41) attempting to ban the practice of “conversion therapy” throughout the state of Florida.

As the bill’s language explains, “the term ‘conversion therapy’ means any practice or treatment performed on an individual with the goal of changing the individual’s sexual orientation.”

The measure includes examples such as “efforts to change behavior, gender identity, or gender expression, or efforts to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward an individual of the same gender.”

Grieco’s bill explicitly does not apply to efforts to support individuals going through a gender transition.

“LGBTQ Floridians deserve to have their rights protected like every other person in this state,” Grieco said of the legislation.

The controversial practice of conversion therapy has been pushed by a handful of religious organizations, aiming to “convert” gay individuals by pushing them to live as a straight person.

The science behind such efforts has been repeatedly challenged. As the American Psychological Association notes, “The longstanding consensus of the behavioral and social sciences and the health and mental health professions is that homosexuality per se is a normal and positive variation of human sexual orientation.”

In addition, several testimonials from people pushed to undergo the practice, often by their parents, has shown an at-times abusive and dangerous environment.

Grieco’s bill aims at dissuading licensed professionals from practicing conversion therapy by threatening sanctions.

The measure bars individuals licensed as a medical practitioner, osteopathic physician, psychologist, psychotherapist, clinical social worker, marriage and family therapist or mental health counselor from performing conversion therapy.

Any individual who does so “engages in unprofessional conduct and is subject to disciplinary proceedings by the [Department of Health] and the appropriate board.”

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous, despicable and non-scientific practice that only harms people it is supposedly meant to ‘help,’ ” Grieco added.

“The idea that it is still legal to subject our youth to this aggressive and hurtful ‘treatment’ is unconscionable. Treating sexual orientation as a mental illness is demeaning and conversion therapy can lead to many unintended but harmful effects. This isn’t the first time the bill has been carried by me and it’s something near and dear to my heart.”

If approved, the act would take effect on July 1, 2020.

Grieco’s bill revives an effort last Session to institute the same sort of sanctions. But it died before advancing through a single committee. Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez introduced a companion bill during the 2019 Session. But that too died before getting through a committee.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. gary

    August 9, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Outlaw a possible treatment? What the hell is wrong with this guy? I thought Democrats were all about not DENYING healthcarE?! Who the hell is he to deny an LGBTQ healthcare???????????????

    Democrats are so broken!

    • Diane Bailey

      August 9, 2019 at 8:09 pm

      Are you kidding?? This isn’t “health care”…it’s basically mental and emotional abuse. It’s been denounced by every legitimate health organization out there. But hey, I guess you know better, huh?

      • gary

        August 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm

        So now Democrats get choose what is, or is not healthcare? Democrats denying healthcare, this is simply a new kind of hypocrisy!

        His/Her body, her choice be damned i guess!

    • Definitely NOT State Representative Grieco, I Promise

      August 10, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Dear Fake Anonymous “Gary”,

      Are you suggesting that someone can be “treated” for being gay? There’s more of a likelihood of getting you treated for being an asshole. Go back to your mom’s basement and get back to hating the world.

      • gary

        August 11, 2019 at 1:43 am

        Not at all kid! I believe the chant goes… “My body, my right”! I find it adorable when snowflakes run into their own checkmate!

  2. Paul Siano

    August 10, 2019 at 5:37 am

    Yet another example why republicans are disgusting vile people. You call healthcare something that is used to force people to change their sexual orientation, to force someone to do what they don’t want to do. If it were up to me I throw you all in prison.

    • gary

      August 11, 2019 at 1:45 am

      @Paul

      Whatever Hitler!

      People like you are why I donate to the NRA!

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