Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 690
       By Senator Polsky
       29-00594B-21                                           2021690__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to prohibited counseling services;
    3         creating s. 456.064, F.S.; defining the term
    4         “professional counselor”; prohibiting professional
    5         counselors from providing certain counseling services
    6         to individuals younger than 18 years of age; providing
    7         that violators are subject to disciplinary action;
    8         creating s. 817.0346, F.S.; prohibiting any person
    9         from advertising or offering to provide certain
   10         counseling services to individuals younger than 18
   11         years of age; providing applicability; providing
   12         criminal penalties; providing severability; providing
   13         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 Certain counseling services prohibited.—
   20         (1)As used in this section, the term “professional
   21  counselor” means a person who is licensed to provide
   22  professional counseling or who provides counseling as part of
   23  his or her professional practice under chapter 458, chapter 459,
   24  chapter 490, or chapter 491, including, but not limited to, a
   25  medical practitioner, an osteopathic physician, a psychologist,
   26  a psychotherapist, a clinical social worker, a marriage and
   27  family therapist, and a mental health counselor.
   28         (2)A professional counselor may not provide counseling
   29  services to an individual younger than 18 years of age which
   30  include treatment involving reprimand, punishment, shame, or any
   31  other aversive technique intended to change an individual’s
   32  gender identity or gender expression or reduce or eliminate an
   33  individual’s sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward a
   34  person of the same gender.
   35         (3)A professional counselor who violates this section
   36  engages in unprofessional conduct and is subject to disciplinary
   37  action by the department or the appropriate board.
   38         Section 2. Section 817.0346, Florida Statutes, is created
   39  to read:
   40         817.0346 Prohibition against marketing of fraudulent
   41  counseling services.—
   42         (1)It is unlawful for any person to advertise or offer to
   43  provide counseling services to an individual younger than 18
   44  years of age which include efforts to change an individual’s
   45  gender identity or gender expression or reduce or eliminate an
   46  individual’s sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward a
   47  person of the same gender.
   48         (2)This prohibition does not apply to counseling services
   49  that provide:
   50         (a)Support to an individual actively undergoing gender
   51  transition; or
   52         (b)Acceptance, support, and understanding of an individual
   53  or that facilitate an individual’s coping, social support, and
   54  identity exploration and development, including sexual
   55  orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful
   56  conduct or unsafe sexual practices, provided that the goal of
   57  such counseling is not to change the individual’s gender
   58  identity or sexual orientation.
   59         (3)A person who violates this section commits a felony of
   60  the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
   61  775.083, or s. 775.084.
   62         Section 3. If any provision of this act or its application
   63  to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
   64  does not affect other provisions or applications of the act
   65  which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
   66  application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
   67  severable.
   68         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.