In a move that is likely to have national repercussions, a federal judge has ruled that Tampa, Florida, cannot make it illegal for counselors to provide “conversion therapy” to those who are interested in receiving it. This includes minors who are receiving counseling with their parents’ permission.
Judge William F. Jung made it clear that cities don’t have the legal authority to regulate health care. Furthermore, he stated that city officials don’t have the right to insert themselves in the middle of what should be a very private conversation. The judge added that Florida has a privacy amendment in its state constitution that makes it clear that the government does not have the right to decide what therapists can and cannot say in private — and that parents are ultimately in charge of their children’s health care.
Liberty Counsel, which represented the plaintiff’s in the case, rejoiced over the crystal-clear, accurate ruling. At the same time, Liberty Counsel’s job isn’t over. The organization is still litigating similar cases in other states. In Maryland, a liberal judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton dismissed a similar challenge to Maryland’s law banning conversion therapy. The group is appealing the ruling, and has vowed to take the case up to the Supreme Court.
The organization is also fighting against gay conversion therapy bans in California and New York. However, it seems that at least one city has now realized that its efforts to dictate what professionals can and can’t say isn’t going to be successful.
The New York City council recently announced that it would work towards repealing the ban on gay conversion therapy as soon as possible, noting that failing to repeal the ban would not only result in a costly legal fight, but would enable the Supreme Court to set a precedent stating that First Amendment rights trump the LGBTQ agenda. In the past, the Supreme Court has declined to take up cases in this area. However, the current make-up of the court is different than it was in times past, and it is entirely possible that a case like this could be heard and ruled on.
There is a common misconception that people who experience same-sex attractions are all happy about it. However, true-life stories of many formerly gay and transgender individuals make it clear this isn’t always the case. While it would be wrong for therapists to force on a person who does not want to receive it, those who want conversion therapy should be allowed to have it. Unfortunately, LGBTQ activists are desperate to maintain the facade that a person cannot change his or her sexuality, and are eager to silence evidence that runs contrary to their claims.