LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Friday a federal appeals court blocked city and county ordinances banning the use of conversion therapy on minors in Florida.
Two psychologists in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County argued that the city and county ordinances went against their freedom of speech and the 11th District Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled in a 2-1 vote in their favor.
Conversion therapy is defined by the Human Rights Campaign as an attempt made to change a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
Historically, the worst forms include shock, or electrocution, to make a person associate pain with homosexuality.
Shawn Williams, President of Lee County LGBTQ Democratic Caucus, says that the practice is torture.
"We in the LGBT community feel that it is equivalent to torture. It really is torture because what you’re trying to do is break down the pieces of a person to fit them into something that they’re not," says Williams.
The University of California Los Angeles says that over 700,000 LGBTQ people have undergone conversion therapy. Currently, 14 states have laws banning the practice, but Florida does not.
Dr. Smidova, a Psychologist in Naples specializes in LGBTQ care. She says conversion therapy can be traumatic and believes it can cause young people to be at "war" with themselves.
"It would be the same and as bad as ptsd, it causes the same level of trauma," says Dr. Eva Smidova, PH.D., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, "I hope that this like other nonsense that has been talked about will be rejected. Because it should be banned, forbidden."
The lawsuit will now go back down to the U.S. District court in South Florida for review.