By Carlos Santoscoy, On Top Mangazine
June 28, 2017
Wellington on Tuesday became the 13th Florida municipality to prohibit therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Such therapies go by names such as “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy.”
According to the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council (PBCHRC), which backed the measure, clergy members are exempt under the proposal unless they are also state-licensed mental health professionals.
The Village Council voted 3-2 in favor of the ban, with Mayor Anne Gerwig casting one of the “no” votes. The ban takes effect immediately.
Gerwig said that she voted against the measure because young people should have the option to choose.
“I think they should have that right,” she's quoted as saying by the Palm Beach Post, “and that's what I struggle with here.”
Earlier this month, Dr. Rachel Needle, a licensed psychologist who practices in Palm Beach County, testified in favor of the ban, saying that conversion therapy is based on two false premises.
“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 told city leaders. “And second, it is based on the presumption that being LGBTQ is something that can actually be changed through therapy.”
“Attempting to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity can have a devastating impact on a minor,” she added.
Wellington joins West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Riviera Beach, Miami, Wilton Manors, Miami Beach, Bay Harbor Islands, El Portal, Key West and Tampa in enacting such an ordinance