Florida Senate - 2016 SB 258 By Senator Clemens 27-00459-16 2016258__ 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; providing an effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Section 456.064, Florida Statutes, is created to 18 read: 19 456.064 Conversion therapy.— 20 (1) As used in this section, the term “conversion therapy” 21 means any practice or treatment performed with the goal of 22 changing an individual’s sexual orientation, including, but not 23 limited to, efforts to change behavior, gender identity, or 24 gender expression, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic 25 attraction or feelings toward a person of the same gender. The 26 term does not include professional counseling that: 27 (a) Provides support to an individual actively undergoing 28 gender transition; or 29 (b) Provides acceptance, support, and understanding of an 30 individual or facilitates an individual’s coping, social 31 support, and identity exploration and development, including 32 sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address 33 unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; however, the goal 34 of such counseling may not be to change the individual’s sexual 35 orientation or gender identity. 36 (2) A person who is licensed to provide professional 37 counseling or who provides counseling as part of his or her 38 professional practice under chapter 458, chapter 459, chapter 39 490, or chapter 491, including, but not limited to, a medical 40 practitioner, osteopathic practitioner, psychologist, 41 psychotherapist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, 42 or mental health counselor may not practice or perform 43 conversion therapy with an individual younger than 18 years of 44 age. Any such licensed professional who practices or performs or 45 attempts to practice or perform conversion therapy with an 46 individual younger than 18 years of age engages in 47 unprofessional conduct and is subject to disciplinary 48 proceedings by the department and the appropriate regulatory 49 board. 50 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.