Legal Experts Blast Appeals Court Ruling Striking Down Florida Conversion Therapy Ban

by | Dec 2, 2020 | QUEER RVA

The deciding votes in the 2-1 decision invalidating the city of Miami Beach’s ban on conversion therapy for minors were made by Trump-appointed judges, because of course they were.

A federal appeals court on Friday, November 18 struck down two local Florida ordinances that ban dangerous and harmful conversion therapy by licensed medical professionals. The 2-1 majority decision by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is being criticized by legal and human rights experts.

Nearly every major medical association in the U.S. has denounced conversion therapy as harmful and dangerous. The practice, which purports to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, has been linked to suicide. Those who have been subjected to it often call it “torture.”

The Florida law applies only to licensed medical professionals, not to members of the clergy, yet on Friday the 11th Circuit panel claimed it violated the First Amendment.

Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern called the ruling a “really awful and frightening decision.”

Georgia State University College of Law law professor Anthony Michael Kreis calls conversion therapy “abusive,” and says the ruling by the 11th Circuit is a “truly reprehensible decision and civil rights disaster that will necessarily result in children suffering.”

“To date 107 laws have passed to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy,” says Matthew Shurka, the co-founder of NCLR’s Born Perfect. He calls the 11th Circuit’s ruling an “outlier.”

“Five of those laws have been challenged in federal court and each have been upheld. Today’s ruling from the 11th circuit is an outlier. Our courts cannot allow professionals to harm our LGBTQ youth.”

But Slate’s Stern says he expects the U.S. Supreme Court will take up these cases, and warns the current 6-3 conservative majority will strike down any bans on conversion therapy.

“I have no real doubt that SCOTUS will find these bans unconstitutional,” Stern warns.

Written by David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement. Image by Daniel Gonzales via Flickr and a CC license.

New Civil Rights Movement

New Civil Rights Movement

more in gayrva

Goad Gatsby’s Dystopian Update For September 2023

Tracking the far-right extremists of Virginia. Explore his latest reporting HERE. Family behind proposed “Sage’s Law” files lawsuit. Earlier this year, Delegate Dave LaRock carried the bill that passed the House of Delegates by a partisan 52-48 vote but...

In the Heat of the Night Vol. 12: Neon Love Letter

Raise a Bingo Lager! to the electric pulse of our nightlife -- a frenetic dance fueled by the characters that make our scene a hotbed of unadulterated fun. Meet our photographer, Jody Adams, a fellow who's been pounding the pavement after-hours for months, with his...

Hadad’s Lake For Sale! A Tribute to Richmond’s Ragtag Disneyland

It's not every day a piece of a city's soul is put up for sale and we are a few weeks late on this piece of news. But here we are, at the edge of Hadad’s Lake, looking back at the ripples of history and community connection that this place has fostered over the years....

In the Heat of the Night Vol. 11: Summer Lovin’

In the city, partying isn't the only thing heating up the summer nights. Love and friendship is in the air. Enter Jody Adams, our relentless photographer, who's been out there documenting everything he sees, from the booming horns of NO BS! Brass at The Broadberry's...

‘Hang Up’ Unleashes Unseen Chemistry in New Reality Dating Show

In the bustling world of reality dating shows, where drama and theatrics often overshadow genuine connections, Hang Up emerges as a breath of fresh air. This chatty and captivating podcast, which stars Richmond bartender Maxine in season 1, has fun with the genre by...

Pin It on Pinterest