Palm Beach County is first in Florida to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, Vice Mayor Mack Bernard, Commissioner Hal Valeche, Mayor Melissa McKinlay, and Commissioners Mary Lou Berger, Paulette Burdick and Steven Abrams. Photo courtesy Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. | While many councils in the state have passed conversion therapy bans in their own cities, no Florida county had passed a ban until now.

The seven county commissioners voted 5-2 to prohibit conversion therapy for minors in Palm Beach County Dec. 19. Commissioners Steven Abrams and Hal Valeche were the two to vote against the ban.

The ban covers Palm Beach County’s 39 municipalities as well as the county’s unincorporated areas. The ban will apply to doctors, osteopaths, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, marriage or family therapists and counselors licensed by the State of Florida as well as people who perform counseling as part of the person’s professional training.

The ban does not apply to members of the clergy unless they are also licensed, or in training to become licensed, mental health professionals.

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