This fight isn’t over!
It’s been revealed that a federal appeals court in Florida has overturned the banning of conversion therapy in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County.
The U.S. 11th District Court of Appeals in Atlanta made the decision on Friday.
Two of the judges on the case, Britt C Grant and Barbra Logoa defended their ruling, stating that “they understand and appreciate that the therapy is highly controversial […] the First Amendment has no carveout for controversial speech.”
The ordinance in question was created to stop “treating minors with any counseling, practice, or treatment performed with the goal of changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project, Amit Paley expressed his concern over the recent ruling, saying: “Conversion therapy is a fraud. No matter how hard you try, you cannot change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
He continued: “This so-called therapy has only ever proven to produce negative mental health outcomes and increase the risk of suicide.”
A total of 20 states and a number of cities in the U.S. have banned conversion therapy.
It was revealed in a recent peer-reviewed journal article by the Trevor Project that “LGBTQ+ youth who underwent conversion therapy were more than twice as likely to report having attempted suicide.”
Along with the argument of the First Amendment, judges Grant and Lagoa showcased little faith in the massive amounts of evidence that was brought forward saying the court “can’t rely” on organizations giving unbiased research if they are already opposed to the practice.
Judge Beverly C. Martin, who also serves on the U.S. 11th District Court of Appeals, showcased her disappointment with Grant and Lagoa arguments.
She also pushed back against the research tactics it took to get the requested evidence against conversion therapy, saying it “ignores the harm such studies would have on children,” and that it wasn’t “ethically permissible” for the research to take place.
She also noted that these claims aren’t baseless and conversion therapy is “backed up by a mountain of rigorous evidence,” while referring to the eight organizations that have found the practice a “risk” to children.
The case will likely go to the U.S. supreme court, which currently has a conservative majority with a 6 to 3 ratio.