Friday, May 5, 2017

Conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth banned in Riviera Beach

By Kaitryn Wetzel, WPEC CBS-12  
Wednesday May 3, 2017

(Riviera Beach, Fla) - Riviera Beach is now the fifth city in Palm Beach County to ban conversion therapy for minors, The city council voted unanimously tonight to prohibit the therapy on minors within city limits of Riviera Beach.

The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, which requested the ban, has been successful in having similar ordinances banning conversion therapy enacted in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, and Delray Beach. 

Dr. Rachel Needle,a licensed psychologist, addressed the problems with conversion therapy at the March 1 city council meeting,
"First, it is based on the falsehood that being gay, lesbian or transgender is a mental disorder or defect that needs to be cured," Needle stated. "And secondly, it is based on the presumption that being LGBTQ is something that can actually be changed through therapy."
City Councilwomen Dawn Pardo and Tonya Davis Johnson brought the request forward back in March.

"As an elected official, it is a key part of my job to take steps to protect all of the children in the City of Riviera Beach from abuse," said Councilman Davis Johnson. "The Palm Beach County Human Rights Council and Dr. Needle presented numerous scientific studies for the city council to review and of the experts all agree that conversion therapy is causes extreme emotional trauma to LGBT youth."

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