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US Appeals Court Delivers 'a Huge Victory' for Young People Who Seek Counseling for Same-Sex Attraction in FL

08-19-2022
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The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has now ordered a district judge in Florida to enforce an injunction that would allow licensed counselors in the state to help those young people. 

On July 29, the 11th Circuit had ordered the lower court to issue an injunction. That move would prevent attempts to penalize licensed counselors who provide voluntary talk therapy to minors seeking help with unwanted identity confusion.

However, federal district Judge Robin Rosenberg did not promptly comply with the order and allowed it to sit on the district court's docket for nearly three weeks. 

Liberty Counsel, appealed to the 11th Circuit to order immediate compliance by the district court. 

"Every day of delay in blocking the unconstitutional bans continues to impose further injury to the protected speech of counselors and irreparably harms their cherished constitutional liberties," read a statement on their website. 

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As CBN News has reported, laws in the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County allowed a counselor to advise a client to take hormone drugs or have life-changing surgery but prohibited them from assisting a client who wanted to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion. 

The Liberty Counsel represented Dr. Robert Otto and Dr. Julie Hamilton in the case and argued the laws violated their constitutional right to free speech. 

In 2020, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Liberty Counsel and blocked the enforcement of those local ordinances.

"We hold that the challenged ordinances violate the First Amendment because they are content-based regulations of speech that cannot survive strict scrutiny," Judge Grant wrote in the 2-1 decision.

The new ruling allows youth and their families to get counseling and eliminates the potential for counselors to be fined for providing the therapy their clients seek. 

"This is a huge victory for counselors and their clients to choose the counsel of their choice free of political censorship from government ideologues," Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said after the ruling. "This case is the beginning of the end of similar unconstitutional counseling bans around the country."   

 

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