Victory over LGBT Agenda for Miami Counselors

Oct 3, 2017

Today, an overwhelming majority of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners voted 7-4 to reject Proposed Ordinance 17-1359, which sought to ban any discussion with or counseling provided to minors who have unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.

The ban proponents misrepresented their actual goal of prohibiting licensed counselors, and anyone “not licensed” by the state – including pastors, teachers, and parents – from simply talking to any minor (including a parent’s own child) about the child’s unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion. The ban prohibited anyone from saying to a minor that same-sex activity or identifying as the opposite sex is harmful, wrong, or should be resisted. The majority rejected the poorly-drafted speech ban, as a violation of First Amendment free speech, religious exercise, and parental rights, as well as on the grounds that government should not be inserting itself between a client and a counselor.

Prior to the vote, Liberty Counsel partnered with Christian Family Coalition to provide analysis and support to commissioners concerned about the First Amendment rights of their constituents. Jonathan Alexandre, Director of Public Policy for Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, testified in person against the proposed speech ban at the hearing today. After more than five hours of debate, in which more than 70 people spoke against the ban, the commissioners rejected it as targeting speech with which the ban’s proponents disagreed.  

                                    Liberty Counsel's Jonathan Alexandre testified today in Miami.

Liberty Counsel has been instrumental in defeating such bans at the state level in numerous states, including Florida. Florida proponents of such counseling bans have turned to municipal governments to try at the local level what they have not accomplished statewide, hoping to generate the false perception of overwhelming support. Yet, such local bans violate the jurisdiction the Florida Legislature holds over licensed professionals engaged in state-wide practice.

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