Protecting Florida’s LGBTQ+ Youth by Prohibiting the Use of Conversion Therapy

Over the last few decades, the law has come a long way in recognizing the rights of individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. This shift mirrors the changing views of both medical professionals and society. However, one subgroup of the LGBTQ+ community has been largely ignored when it comes to recognition and protection of their legal rights—LGBTQ+ youth. While more and more young people have been comfortable openly identifying themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community, this group is still at greater risk of experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, and involvement with the juvenile justice and welfare systems than their cis-gender and heterosexual peers.

This Article examines the legal battle over the use of conversion therapy on minors, a practice aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identify, in Florida and the Eleventh Circuit. The author analyzes how the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals incorrectly concluded that local prohibitions on conversion therapy violate the Constitution, as well as addresses the importance of a prohibition on conversion therapy for minors. Finally, the author proposes state legislative action necessary to provide a safer and more inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ youth in Florida.