Federal court rules that local prohibitions on ‘conversion therapy’ are illegal, may affect 2020 Anchorage ordinance


The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a Tampa, Florida ordinance that prohibited licensed counselors from providing voluntary talk therapy to minors seeking help to reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity, is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. 

In Vazzo v. City of Tampa, Liberty Counsel represents marriage and family therapist Robert Vazzo and his minor clients, as well as the Christian ministry, New Hearts Outreach Tampa Bay. 

Thursday’s ruling is based on Liberty Counsel’s earlier victory in Otto v. City of Boca Raton in which the Eleventh Circuit previously ruled that similar bans preventing counselors from helping their clients in Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton were also unconstitutional viewpoint restrictions on speech under the First Amendment. 

The three-judge panel wrote, “We held this case in abeyance pending the issuance of the mandate in Otto v. City of Boca Raton. In Otto, we held that city and county ordinances banning sexual orientation change efforts (“SOCE”) were unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The City of Tampa’s SOCE ordinance here is substantively the same as the ordinances at issue in Otto. Accordingly, we are bound by our prior-panel precedent rule to affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the Plaintiffs-Appellees.”

Anchorage Assembly passed a similar ordinance in 2020, after getting technical assistance from the Trevor Project, a transgender grooming nonprofit in Washington, D.C. The Assembly ban appears to curb some speech regarding gay sexual behavior. No counselor or therapist in Anchorage has challenged the Anchorage ordinance, nor has the State of Alaska weighed in on the constitutionality of the ordinance.


  1. Here’s my rant! And my belief! If you want to have gender change, (wacky ones I’ve heard at best) you personally pay for it! You want a abortion, you pay for it! You want control of your body! You pay for it! Want Botox, you pay for it! Want a butt reduction? You pay for it! Boob reduction or enhancement, you pay for it! Weight loss, you pay for it! This is all body enhancement properties!
    We all have some medical issues, that contributes! probably could be understood? Medical issue wise? But just whim? And a fly by night decisions? Questionable. I want to say more on this but???

  2. 81 Types Of Genders & Gender Identities (A To Z List)
    By Chris Drew (PhD) / February 3, 2023

    How Many Genders Are There?
    There are at least 80 ways to describe gender. That’s not to say there are 80 different genders, but there are at least 80 different cultural terms to describe gender constructs.


  3. Q: How many conversion therapists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: Just one. But it takes a long time, and the light bulb has to want to be changed.

  4. Conversion therapy is a joke. It’s like having “talk therapy” to stop someone from being black. Someone that is really gay is born that way. It isn’t a choice. How long before the right wing puritans in this country understand this?

    • It will never happen. Gay people are the ultimate boogey man for conservatives. It is the culture war topic that they think will get votes. They are just pushing people away that can see the truth you just stated. It is nice to see a reasonable comment on this subject!!

    • Lots of people have urges they don’t want to or should not act on. It is between the patient and the doctor/psychiatrist. Shouldn’t be the business of an elected official. No one on our assembly board is smart enough to make that decision for others. Besides, I should be able to talk to my therapist about anything I want.
      And besides, does conversion therapy work only one direction? What if my kid WANTS to be gay because all the other cool kids are doing it? Can his/her therapist talk to them into being attracted to the same sex? Still no one else’s business.

  5. It’s a hot topic, considering the federal and states government want your taxpayers money? It’s not our job too pay for changing your body! Yes! I get the animal kingdom and such that they change but not on our dime! science 101 and frogs! We let that happen naturally! Hence! The A to Z and the how many ever!!! 80

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