US: Appeals court voids sth Florida bans on conversion therapy for children

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(Reuters) – A divided federal appeals court on Friday struck down laws in south Florida, that prohibited therapists from offering so-called conversion therapy to children struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a 2-1 decision, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the laws in Boca Raton and Palm Beach county were unconstitutional content-based restrictions on speech, that violated the First Amendment.

The laws had been challenged by two therapists, who said their clients typically had “sincerely held religious beliefs conflicting with homosexuality,” and sought counselling to conform their identities and behaviors with those beliefs.

Both judges in the majority were appointed to the bench by Republican President Donald Trump, while the dissenting judge was appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama.

-Jonathan Stempel in New York

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