Liberty Counsel files appeal for conversion therapy bans in Boca Raton and Palm Beach county

By : Lauren Lee
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Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based Christian advocacy group, filed an appeal in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that conversion therapy bans in Boca Raton and Palm beach County are unconstitutional.

The ban and subsequent appeal is part of an ongoing national debate about conversion therapy, which aims to convert LGBTQ youth’s gender identity or sexual orientation and lessen their attraction to the same sex.

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Va. health officials take steps to ban conversion therapy

By : wire report
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) | The Virginia Board of Psychology has issued a letter of guidance stating that conversion therapy should be considered a violation of standard practices, which LGBTQ advocates hope is a major step toward halting the practice.

Conversion therapy, which aims to change the sexual orientation, gender expression or identity of LGBTQ individuals, has been banned in several states across the U.S. but is still legal in Virginia.

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Google drops ‘conversion therapy’ app after uproar

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Internet giant Google announced March 28 that it has removed from its online store a controversial app submitted by an anti-LGBT religious group that promotes so-called conversion therapy to “help homosexuals leave their destructive lifestyles.”

The action by Google came after more than 142,000 people signed a petition initiated in January by the LGBT rights group Truth Wins Out on Change.org that demanded Google pull the app, which was created by Living Hope Ministries.

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Puerto Rico governor signs executive order banning conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (center) speaking in Utuado, Puerto Rico in March 2018.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló signed an executive order March 27 that bans so-called conversion therapy for minors in the U.S. commonwealth.

“These therapies lack scientific basis,” said Rosselló in a tweet that shows him signing the order. “They cause pain and unnecessary suffering to LGBTT people.”

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House bill threatening LGBTQ Floridians neutralized, Senate bill in play

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | A bill in the Florida House threatening to repeal every local LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance and conversion therapy ban across the state has been neutralized, Equality Florida announced March 21.

The Florida House Commerce Committee voted to amend House Bill 3 (HB 3) to remove language threatening to repeal the ordinances and bans that day. The vote was a “clear sign that legislative leaders are listening to concerns about the unintended consequences of this sweeping legislation,” Equality Florida Senior Political Director Joe Saunders shared.

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Puerto Rico lawmakers block vote on bill to ban conversion therapy for minors

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Members of a pro-statehood party in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives on March 18 blocked a bill that would have banned so-called conversion therapy for minors.

El Nuevo Día, a Puerto Rican newspaper, reported the New Progressive Party caucus blocked Senate Bill 1000.

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Massachusetts lawmakers seek ban on “gay conversion therapy”

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP) | Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing legislation to ban so-called “gay conversion therapy” for minors.

The legislature’s Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities moved two bills March 6 that would make Massachusetts the 16th state to outlaw the practice — which aims to alter a person’s sexual orientation.

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Proposed ban on LGBT conversion therapy getting pushback

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposal to ban gay conversion therapy for minors encountered pushback in conservative Utah on March 1 as state lawmakers questioned whether it’s too restrictive for therapists talking about sexual orientation with young clients.

Supporters of the measure said it allows discussion about sexuality, as long as there’s no attempt to change orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapy has a history in Utah, including the use of now-outdated physical techniques like electroshock therapy, and is associated with higher rates of depression and suicide attempts, supporters said.

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Bill to ban physical conversion therapy treatments for minors killed in Va. Senate

By : James Wellemeyer of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National Gay Media Association
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A bill in the Virginia Senate that would have banned physical treatments in so-called conversion therapy for minors was effectively killed when it was sent back to the Education and Health Committee.

Senate Bill 1778, which state Sen. Stephen Newman (R-Lynchburg) introduced, originally passed with a vote of 20-19. The state Senate on the following day, however, reconsidered the vote on the bill and referred it back to committee.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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Proposed Denver conversion therapy ban for minors advances

By : wire report
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DENVER (AP) | Denver’s City Council will soon consider a ban on psychotherapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation of minors.

Denver’s Safety, Housing, Education and Homeless Committee voted Dec. 19 to send the proposal to the full council.

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Florida leads nation, introduces bill to end conversion therapy in 2019 legislative session

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Florida became the first state nationwide to introduce legislation to end conversion therapy in the 2019 legislative session Nov. 21.

State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Democrat who represents Florida’s 37th district in Miami-Dade, introduced Senate Bill 84 (SB 84) to protect LGBTQ youth from the discredited practice.  Conversion therapy purports to change a child’s sexual orientation and gender identity using “psychological or spiritual intervention.” It is widely opposed by prominent health associations including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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