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.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.