Jan 31, 2019 by Michael

Preliminary Injunction Against Tampa Gay Therapy Ban Approved

A preliminary injunction was recommended to be granted by a federal magistrate judge on Wednesday against a Tampa ordinance which prohibits licensed counselors from providing talk therapy to minors seeking to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity, reported CBN News.

In a detailed report, U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Sansone wrote that the Tampa Ordinance 2017-47 should be enjoined because the plaintiffs demonstrated that the law violates each and every test of the First Amendment. The plaintiffs demonstrated that the ordinance is unconstitutional because it is (1) a content restriction that is not narrowly tailored; (2) a viewpoint discrimination; (3) unconstitutionally overbroad; (4) a prior restraint; and (5) unconstitutionally vague.

In December of 2017 the conservative advocacy group filed a lawsuit after the Tampa City Council voted unanimously to approve the ban. A fine of up to $1,000 would be given to therapists in violation, while repeat offenders could face a $5,000 penalty.

"The city of Tampa has no authority to prohibit counselors from providing counsel which their clients seek. Our counseling clients engage in 'talk therapy,' which is the common practice of counselors. This well-reasoned opinion underscores the serious First Amendment violations of laws that dictate what a counselor and client may discuss in the privacy of their counseling session," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel in a press release. "The government has no business eavesdropping inside the counseling session between a counselor and client."

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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