Miami Beach moves quickly to outlaw conversion therapy

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Have you heard of something called conversion therapy?

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Also known as “reparative therapy,” this practice is actually not a clinically tested medical therapy at all. This so-called "therapy" is really a dangerous and discredited practice that falsely claims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Such practices have been condemned by every mainstream medical and mental health organization as bordering on torture, but due to continuing societal bias against LGBTQ people, practice of so-called "conversion therapy" continues without any legal consequence.

Minors are especially vulnerable to the dangers of this sham "cure" for being LGBTQ, and the use of so-called "conversion therapy," especially in LGBTQ children and teenagers, has been tragically proven to lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, self-harm and suicide.

We are glad to report that today, in a move spearheaded by Commissioner John Aleman at the urging of SAVE and State Representative David Richardson, the Miami Beach Commission voted to move forward on a BAN on these discredited, abusive practices.

The vote came as a result of the Florida legislature's failure to pass HB137 -- a bill filed by Miami Beach's own outspoken LGBTQ advocate State Representative David Richardson -- which would have outlawed conversion therapy statewide. In the face of such inaction on conversion therapy -- by cynical Tallahassee politicians trying to score cheap political points by joining the nationwide crusade against "political correctness" -- SAVE and Rep. Richardson turned instead to local lawmakers to do the work that the legislature refused.

The Miami Beach ban goes before the Commission for final approval on Wednesday, June 8. You can be sure that the loudest, most extreme opponents of LGBTQ equality will be there making known their desire to keep this awful practice legal.

Will you join us at the Miami Beach Commission on June 8 to stand with Representative Richardson, Commissioner Aleman, Mayor Philip Levine and the Miami Beach Commissioners working to take this bold action to protect LGBTQ children? Click here to RSVP. >>

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So called "conversion therapy" finds its basis in the prejudiced and outdated view that being LGBTQ is a mental illness in need of treatment. Of course, we know today that being LGBTQ is not a disease, and that sexual orientation and gender identity are psychological traits that generally cannot be changed.

The American Medical Association has said that it "opposes the use of so-called 'reparative' or 'conversion therapy' that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality...is a mental disorder."

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that "potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. The APA opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality...is a mental disorder."

The American Counseling Association "strongly suggests that ethical professional counselors do not refer clients to someone who engages in conversion therapy."

The list of professional associations registering their unequivocal opposition to this thoroughly discredited -- and borderline torturous -- activity goes on and on. It's long since time we ended the barbaric subjection of LGBTQ children, teens, and adults to this awful practice, and the Miami Beach Commission needs to hear from you on June 8.

Click here to RSVP to join us at the Miami Beach Commission on June 8 to make our voices heard in favor of this crucial action to protect LGBTQ children. >>

Only by standing together as a community will we overcome such grave injustices. We hope you will join us at the Miami Beach Commission on June 8. Thank you for your support.

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