Palm Beach County becomes Florida's first county to ban gay conversion therapy


  • Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
On Tuesday, Palm Beach County commissioners voted to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, becoming the first county in Florida to do so outright.

Citing a lawsuit by members of the Maitland-based Liberty Counsel, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, against the city of Tampa, Palm Beach County Attorney Denise Nieman reportedly recommended that the commission not vote in favor of the proposed ordinance. However, a sweeping 5-2 majority in favor of the conversion ban decided otherwise.

Gay conversion therapy — also known as "reparative therapy" or "sexual orientation therapy" — has been increasingly banned across the state of Florida (and the world), in large part cited as an overwhelmingly harmful practice.

Proponents of the draconian practice view these bans as an infringement of the right to freedom of speech for therapists, thus crossing the conservative lines drawn in the sand in terms of government overreach.

With the ban, Palm Beach County as a whole falls into step with municipalities such as Lake Worth, Delray Beach and Boca Raton, among others.