A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that ordinances in Florida banning the licensed counseling of people with unwanted same-sex attractions are unconstitutional violations of the freedom of speech.
“We hold that the challenged ordinances violate the First Amendment because they are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny,” the ruling from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said.
The decision was the first from a federal appeals court laws against so-called “conversion therapy” – a term rejected by proponents – since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In NIFLA v. Becerra, the high court ruled the government cannot force an individual or organization to express a message chosen by the government.
The current case, Otto, et al v. City of Boca Raton, found that bans by Boca Raton and Palm Beach County violate the Constitution.
The case was fought by Liberty Counsel, which represents Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton and their minor clients. (Read more from “Appeals Court Rules Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’ Unconstitutional” HERE)