By: Matt Horn
November 14, 2013
Following California and New Jersey – two Florida lawmakers have introduced legislation banning conversion therapy, which seeks to convert gay people to being straight, for people under 18. Conversion therapy says few psychologists perform the therapy already.
Across the country, fifteen states now recognize gay marriage. As the number grows, two states have also banned a controversial sexual orientation change therapy known as conversion therapy. Many mental health experts call the therapy harmful.
“But the diagnostic and statistical manual doesn’t call sexuality, who you have sex with or what your sexual interest are a disorder,” said Kurt LaRose, Mental Health Expert.
Florida may join the list of states banning the therapy designed to change homosexuals to heterosexual. Senator Jeff Clemens introduced a senate bill to ban the therapy for children younger than 18.
“Science tells and pretty much common sense tells us that the person’s sexual orientation is decided genetically,” said Sen. Clemens.
Mental Health Expert Kurt LaRose says the therapy can have negative affects on those seeking the treatment.
“The greatest risk is symptoms that look like a mood disorder--so, depression,” said LaRose.
Supporting the therapy is South Florida marriage and family therapist Doctor Julie Hamilton. Hamilton has spoken publically on helping those who have unwanted homosexual attractions.
“A lot of people believe it’s biological, that people are born gay. But you know what, the research doesn’t show that at all,” said Hamilton on a YouTube video.
If the ban becomes law it would be illegal for parents to force their children to go through the therapy. “Parents who have very strongly held beliefs that their child shouldn’t be gay or lesbian have tried to put their kids through this,” said Sen. Clemens.
If passed into law a child would still be able to receive counseling helping them cope with their sexuality.