By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News
Novemebr 11, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Gay rights activists in Tallahassee are working to pass a Conversion Therapy Ban. During a town hall meeting on Tuesday night, advocates said the largely discredited practice is a form of child abuse.
"Conversion therapy, first of all, is not therapy," said Rev. Joe Parramore.
Conversion Therapy is a method conducted by licensed therapists that the LGBTQIA+ community believes leads to increased rates of depression, suicide and stigma.
"It's inflicting trauma on a child trying to force them to change their sexual orientation or their gender," said Kathryn Lane, who was a panelist at the meeting.
The group said state legislation that would ban the practice has been tied up for years, but there have been several municipal bans in Florida. Therefore, they are hoping to pass one in Tallahassee. .
However, some people do not agree with the movement.
"They are trying to take the rights away from someone who chooses to go to conversion therapy or parents who try to make the best decision for their children," said Beatriz Macia, who is a member of the Freedom Speaks Coalition.
However the LGBTQIA+ community is hoping a majority will turn out to support them and allies said they plan to do just that.
"It's our responsibility as people who sit in those pews to take action," said Matt Dailey, a legislative aid with Faith in Public Life.
Activists said the next step is the Tallahassee City Commission meeting on December 4, when the ban will be officially introduced.