Tony Lima was one of 30 Broward County residents at Tuesday’s commission meeting. The executive director of SAVE, he spoke against conversion therapy for minors – the controversial practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“We need to be able to as a county send a strong message that we are inclusive, that we are loving, that we are protective of their authentic selves – above all,” Lima said.
County commissioners unanimously banned conversion therapy for minors, following the lead of Palm Beach County, which was the first in the state to pass a ban.
The ban would apply throughout Broward County, but cities can choose to opt out. A $250 fine will be imposed for the first violation and a $500 fine for each subsequent violation.
In South Florida, several cities and counties have implemented conversion therapy bans. These include Key West, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach and Miami.
Still, Miami-Dade County commissioners rejected a ban last October, citing concerns over parents’ rights.