Tampa is the latest Florida city to
enact legislation that prohibits therapies that attempt to alter the
sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) youth.
The Tampa City Council unanimously
approved the measure on March 16, ABC
Action News reported.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
Before voting, council members heard
testimony from the public, including from at least one opponent of
“You're gonna be robbing young people
who are experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions from the right to
have professional counseling,” said Gary Howell, a licensed
psychologist who deals with LGBT youth.
The council will hear a second reading
of the ordinance next month.
Tampa is the eighth Florida city to
enact such a ban. Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, Miami, Wilton Manors,
Miami Beach, Bay Harbor Islands and North Bay Village approved
similar ordinances after efforts at the state level fizzled.