Tampa’s ban on conversion therapy struck down by federal judge

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A federal judge has struck down Tampa's 2017 ban on so-called conversion therapy. The practice has been promoted by some religious groups as a way to a way to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. [ALLEN, WILLIE J., JR. | Tampa Bay Times]

The state ban on “conversion therapy” in Tampa has been removed by a federal judge. Some religious groups have promoted the so-called “conversion therapy” as a treatment to change an individual’s gender or sexual orientation.

The federal court has ruled that this 2017 law may be in conflict with a parent’s right to choose medical care for their child as well as a patient’s right to privacy.

US District Judge William Jung remarked in his 50-page opinion that, “Substantive regulation of psychotherapy is a state, not a municipal concern.” The state medical boards are already entrusted with the job of checking on such malpractices, Jung said.

The goal of this law, which was brought about the City Council in Tampa, was to protect youth from this practice. The law was challenged an Orlando-based Christian evangelical legal advocacy group called Liberty Counsel.

A statement issued by Liberty Counsel said: “Regulating health care is above the pay grade of local municipalities. This ruling dooms every municipality in Florida and is the beginning of the end of more than 50 similar local laws around the country.”

Tampa City Attorney Gina Grimes has responded by saying that the city is seeking legal advice before it makes a decision to appeal the federal court’s ruling.

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