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.”
This is what Rule By Trump Judges looks like: We are not allowed to shield LGBTQ youth from discredited "conversion therapy," even though it increases risk of suicide.— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) November 20, 2020
Trump judges won't let LGBTQ people protect our own communities, our own children, from harm. Sickening.
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.”
Welcome to the world of First Amendment where LGBTQ kids will be psychologically tortured because a bunch of Trump appointees don't care about this community.— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) November 20, 2020
“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.
The Supreme Court's six conservative justices will likely (1) strike down laws barring licensed counselors from seeking to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity, and (2) continue to uphold laws that force physicians to recite anti-abortion propaganda to patients.— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) November 20, 2020