Protecting Counselors and Their Clients From Political Censorship

Dec 20, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Liberty Counsel filed a response to the Southern District Court of Florida in opposition to the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County’s attempt to dismiss Otto, et al v. City of Boca Raton, FL et al. 

Liberty Counsel represents Dr. Robert Otto, LMFT and Dr. Julie Hamilton, LMFT and their minor clients, and is seeking a permanent injunction, damages, attorney fees and costs since the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled in their favor after they challenged the constitutionality of ordinances enacted by the city and county. The ordinances prohibited the viewpoints of licensed counselors from providing counsel to minors and are now officially blocked. These licensed therapists can now provide life-saving counseling to minors who desperately desire to conform their attractions, behaviors, and gender identities to their sincerely held religious beliefs. 

As a result of this victory, now counselors in Florida, Georgia and Alabama are free to help their minor clients.

The Eleventh Circuit previously denied a request from the city and county for a full court review of a decision by a three-judge panel that previously struck down laws in 2020 that ban counselors from providing minor clients and their families help to reduce or overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion. The Southern District Court of Florida then issued the preliminary injunction at the order of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Licensed therapists in the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County have waited years to help their struggling clients who voluntarily seek their help and are now free to do so. Under the laws that were struck down, a counselor could encourage a client to take life-altering hormone drugs or even undergo invasive surgery to remove healthy body parts but could not help a client who seeks to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or confusion. However, now a permanent injunction is needed to ensure they remain free from political censorship in their counseling rooms and their clients have the freedom to choose the counsel of their choice.” 

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