Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 578
       By Senator Clemens
       31-00691-17                                            2017578__
    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.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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, 2017.