The City of Boynton Beach has banned the practice of conversion therapy on minors.
The decision came at the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. Also known as reparative therapy, conversion therapy involves changing one’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression through aversion treatment.
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“Conversion therapy is usually forced on minors by parents who find it impossible to accept the fact that their children identify as gay or lesbian,” said W. Trent Steele, an attorney and member of the board of directors for PBCHRC, in a news release. “This so-called ‘treatment’ is extremely harmful.”
In a unanimous vote Tuesday evening, the Boynton Beach City Commission voted to prohibit licensed mental health professionals from engaging in the practice of conversion therapy on minors within the city limits. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Boynton Beach had a population of 68,217.
“Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is not an illness or disorder that requires treatment or needs to be cured,” said Boynton Beach Commissioner Justin Katz, in a news release. “Numerous scientific studies were presented to the city commission and every one of them has concluded that conversion therapy can be extremely harmful to LGBT youth.”
Over the past 28 years, PBCHRC has succeeded in enacting more than 110 laws and policies that provide equal rights, benefits and protection for the LGBT community.