Keep Counseling Options Available for Teens like Nicole who are Struggling with Sexual Identity
West Palm Beach City Commissioners are planning to ban minors from receiving therapy for unwanted homosexual attractions or gender identity confusion. Their ordinance says minors cannot receive therapy to explore resolving unwanted homosexual attractions, or even get help to reduce homosexual behaviors that may lead to sexually transmitted diseases! The city commissioners actually go on to say that what they WILL allow is therapy that supports minors in changing their biological sex! [i]
Not only is this ban outrageous, but also, these commissioners are going far beyond their jurisdiction, as the State of Florida licenses and regulates mental health professionals, not the city. Furthermore, the State of Florida has refused to pass such an unconstitutional ban!
Now the city commissioners think they should disregard the state’s decision and violate the rights of West Palm Beach residents! The city commissioners do not acknowledge the existence of thousands of people who have moved beyond their homosexual attractions to live a life that is consistent with their values, goals, and dreams.
Perhaps they need to meet Nicole (name changed to protect her from harassment), who, as a teenager was full of self-hatred because she had same-sex attractions that she did not choose and did not want. She contemplated suicide many times, but never took action because she did not want to hurt her family who loved her very much.
She made it through high school and began college in West Palm Beach, never having told anyone about her inner turmoil over unwanted homosexual attractions. In one of her college classes her professor invited two guest lecturers, one who shared about some of the developmental factors that can lead to homosexual attractions and the other who shared her personal story of leaving a life of homosexuality.
Nicole says that day changed her life! She learned that she did not have to embrace an unwanted homosexual identity and could live a life beyond her attractions. She says she always knew a homosexual identity was not her authentic self, and she finally learned that support was available. Nicole is now a therapist who is happily married to a wonderful man and is the mother of two young children.
There are many teenagers who, like Nicole, are suffering with self-hatred and suicidal thinking. These teenagers need to know that they have options. Yet West Palm Beach City Commissioners are planning to take options away from them on November 7th when they vote to pass the ban on professional therapy for this issue.
Sign this petition now!
Petition to: West Palm Beach City Commissioners