Florida Senate - 2018 SB 696 By Senator Rodriguez 37-00979-18 2018696__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to conversion therapy; creating s. 3 456.064, F.S.; defining the term “conversion therapy”; 4 prohibiting a person who is licensed to provide 5 professional counseling or a practitioner who is 6 licensed under provisions regulating the practice of 7 medicine, osteopathic medicine, psychology, clinical 8 social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental 9 health counseling from practicing or performing 10 conversion therapy with an individual who is younger 11 than a specified age; providing that such person or 12 practitioner is subject to specified disciplinary 13 proceedings under certain circumstances; providing an 14 effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Section 456.064, Florida Statutes, is created to 19 read: 20 456.064 Conversion therapy.— 21 (1) As used in this section, the term “conversion therapy” 22 means any practice or treatment performed with the goal of 23 changing an individual’s sexual orientation, including, but not 24 limited to, efforts to change behavior, gender identity, or 25 gender expression or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic 26 attraction or feelings toward a person of the same gender. The 27 term does not include professional counseling that provides: 28 (a) Support to an individual actively undergoing gender 29 transition; or 30 (b) Acceptance, support, and understanding of an individual 31 or facilitates an individual’s coping, social support, and 32 identity exploration and development, including sexual 33 orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful 34 conduct or unsafe sexual practices; however, the goal of such 35 counseling is not to change the individual’s sexual orientation 36 or gender identity. 37 (2) A person who is licensed to provide professional 38 counseling or who provides counseling as part of his or her 39 professional practice under chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 40 490, or chapter 491, including, but not limited to, a medical 41 practitioner, osteopathic physician, psychologist, 42 psychotherapist, clinical social worker, marriage and family 43 therapist, or mental health counselor, may not practice or 44 perform conversion therapy with an individual younger than 18 45 years of age. Any such licensed professional who practices or 46 performs or attempts to practice or perform conversion therapy 47 with an individual younger than 18 years of age engages in 48 unprofessional conduct and is subject to disciplinary 49 proceedings by the department and the appropriate board. 50 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.