Keep Therapy Equality Alive in Palm Beach County Florida
Palm Beach County Commissioners are considering banning minors from receiving therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions or gender identity confusion.
According to their ordinance:
Teenagers cannot receive therapy for exploring change of unwanted homosexual attractions or even behaviors. Children who have been sexually abused and have homosexual attractions or behaviors as a result cannot have therapy to change those attractions or behaviors.
Ch Children who have been exposed to pornography and want help reducing their resulting homosexual attractions or fantasies that were caused by the pornography exposure cannot have therapy for that purpose.
Chi Children who are insecure in their gender or confused about their gender cannot have therapy to reduce their confusion. According to Palm Beach County Commissioners, the only therapy that gender confused children may receive is therapy that supports them in attempting to change their biological sex![i]
Not Not only is this agenda-driven ban outrageous, but also, these commissioners are going far beyond their jurisdiction, as it is the State of Florida that licenses and regulates mental health professionals. Since the State of Florida has chosen not to pass such an unconstitutional ban, the county commissioners think they should disregard the State’s decision and move forward to violate the rights of Palm Beach county residents.
The county commissioners do not acknowledge the existence of thousands of people who have moved beyond their homosexual attractions to live a life that is consistent with their values, goals, and dreams. Perhaps they need to meet Nicole (name changed to protect her from harassment), who, as a teenager was full of self-hatred because she had same-sex attractions that she did not choose and did not want. She contemplated suicide many times, but never took action because she did not want to hurt her family who loved her very much. She made it through high school and began college in West Palm Beach, never having told anyone about her inner turmoil over unwanted homosexual attractions. In one of her college classes her professor invited two guest lecturers, one who shared about some of the developmental factors that can lead to homosexual attractions and the other who shared her personal story of leaving a life of homosexuality. Nicole says that day changed her life. She learned that she did not have to embrace an unwanted homosexual identity and could live a life beyond her attractions. She says she always knew a homosexual identity was not her authentic self, and she finally learned that help was available. Nicole is now a therapist who is happily married to a wonderful man and is the mother of two young children.
There are many teenagers who, like Nicole, are suffering with self-hatred and suicidal thinking. These teenagers need to know that they have options. Yet Palm Beach County Commissioners are considering taking options away from them on December 5th when they consider banning professional therapy for this issue.
Please help us protect children by signing this petition!
[i] "Conversion Therapy means any counseling, practices or treatments that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including but not limited to efforts to change behaviors, gender identity, or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender or sex. Conversion therapy does not include counseling that provides support and assistance to a person undergoing gender transition, or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as such counseling does not seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity."