Last month, New York jumped on the bandwagon of banning reparative therapy by passing the Counselor Coercion Law. As many New Yorkers will recall, the Counselor Coercion Law bars licensed mental health professionals from assisting minor clients in resolving unwanted same-sex attraction.
Earlier this month, a federal magistrate judge in Florida opined that a similar law violated the First Amendment.
According to TheHill.com, “U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone issued an opinion stating that the plaintiffs “sufficiently demonstrated” that the City of Tampa’s 2017 reparative therapy ban “may violate their free speech rights.” Judge Sansone “cited a recent Supreme Court ruling [National Institute of Family & Life Advocates v. Becerra] against a California law requiring crisis pregnancy centers to tell women about the availability of other services in the state, including abortion, effectively upholding the First Amendment free-speech rights of medical professionals.” The judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the City of Tampa from banning methods like talk therapy. The case will now be referred to a federal district judge.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is pleased to hear this news and hopes that other courts around the country will render similar decisions in cases involving counselor coercion laws.