|Judge who would allow child abuse.|
Shockingly, a federal judge in Florida has preliminary ruled that Tampa's bar on conversion therapy torture for minors should be blocked by a temporary injunction. One has to wonder if Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone believes that other felony child abuse laws should be similarly enjoined. Despite the fact that EVERY legitimate medical and mental health association condemns the practice and labels it as dangerous, Sansome seems to have bought the lies of the vitriolically anti-gay Liberty Counsel and deems children as chattel property of their parents with no right to be protected from parental abuse and fraudulent practices. One has to wonder how many suicides of LGBT youth Sansone's ruling may have as its result if it stands. Think Progress looks at this dangerous ruling. Here are article highlights:
A federal magistrate judge in Florida recommended Wednesday that Tampa’s ban on anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy for minors be halted, which would enable practitioners of the treatment to continue trying to shame kids out of their same-sex orientations.
The anti-LGBTQ hate group Liberty Counsel brought the complaint on behalf of two therapists and a Christian ministry that provide counseling to help “reduce or eliminate same-sex sexual attractions, behaviors or identity.” They argued that because all they provide is talk therapy, their sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) constitute “speech” protected under the First Amendment that cannot be restricted by law. U.S. Magistrate judge Amanda Arnold Sansone agreed, recommending a preliminary injunction.
Sansone concluded that the city could have more narrowly tailored the ban to only restrict “involuntary” counseling, only ban “aversive” treatments like electroshock therapy, or require informed consent. She also agreed that Tampa was engaging in viewpoint discrimination and idea suppression because it “disagreed with the ideas expressed” in conversion therapy.
“The plaintiffs sufficiently demonstrated Ordinance 2017-47’s overbroad prohibition on non-coercive, non-aversive SOCE counseling consisting entirely of speech or ‘talk therapy’ is likely unconstitutional,” she wrote.
The problem with this ruling is that it completely ignores everything major medical organizations have said about conversion therapy. When the American Psychological Association issued its massive report on SOCE in 2009, it didn’t say that some SOCE is harmful and some isn’t. It said that any effort to try to help patients reject or change their sexual orientation risked harm.
Specifically addressing SOCE for minors, the report noted, “SOCE that focus on negative representations of homosexuality and lack a theoretical or evidence base provide no documented benefits and can pose harm through increasing sexual stigma and providing inaccurate information.” It instead recommended affirming treatments that work with families to help them accept their children for who they are and work to address how that sexual orientation intersects with their beliefs and values.
Likewise, even if a minor is given the option to consent, that doesn’t mean they aren’t being coerced into the treatment by their families. One of the primary reasons LGBTQ young people are vastly overrepresented among homeless youth is because they face rejection by their families, which can often take the form of ultimatums to pursue some form of conversion therapy.
Sansone’s recommendation does not immediately enjoin the Tampa’s ban, but the case now proceeds to a federal district judge for final consideration.
I hope the ruling is reversed. As for Sansone, she needs to get her head out of her ass and educate herself about the evil she is permitting.