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Broward County Bans Conversion Therapy for Kids

Broward County voted for ordinance on Tuesday that would ban conversion therapy for minors.
Flickr/Creative Commons
Broward County voted for ordinance on Tuesday that would ban conversion therapy for minors.

Tony Lima was one of 30 Broward County residents at Tuesday’s commission meeting. The executive director of SAVE, he spoke against conversion therapy for minors – the controversial practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“We need to be able to as a county send a strong message that we are inclusive, that we are loving, that we are protective of their authentic selves – above all,” Lima said.

County commissioners unanimously banned conversion therapy for minors, following the lead of Palm Beach County, which was the first in the state to pass a ban.

The ban would apply throughout Broward County, but cities can choose to opt out. A $250 fine will be imposed for the first violation and a $500 fine for each subsequent violation.

In South Florida, several cities and counties have implemented conversion therapy bans. These include Key West, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach and Miami.

Still, Miami-Dade County commissioners rejected a ban last October, citing concerns over parents’ rights.

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Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English,Caitiehopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catchCaitielounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time.
Alex Gonzalez