National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cases & Advocacy

Otto v. City of Boca Raton Amicus

Status: Open

Outcome: Pending

Location: Florida

Jurisdiction + Case Number: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 9:18-cv-80771-RLRU.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, No. 19-10604

In 2017, the City of Boca Raton, Florida, and the County of Palm Beach, Florida, each enacted local ordinances prohibiting state-licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient under 18 years old. Every leading medical and mental health organization in the country has warned that these practices do not work and put young people at risk of serious harm, including depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

In 2018, an anti-LGBTQ legal group filed a federal lawsuit challenging the law on behalf of two licensed therapists who wish to engage in conversion therapy with minors. In February 2019, a federal district court denied the plaintiff therapists’ request for a preliminary order preventing enforcement of the law, ruling that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed in their challenge. The plaintiffs appealed.

NCLR, along with Equality Florida and the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed an amicus brief urging the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the district court’s decision based on the overwhelming consensus of medical and mental health professionals that conversion therapy poses a serious risk to the health and well-being of Florida’s youth.

For more on our casework combatting conversion therapy, learn more about our Born Perfect campaign.

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