Tampa City Council to discuss ban on anti-gay 'conversion therapy' for minors

TAMPA — The City Council could get its first look this morning at an ordinance that would ban mental health professionals from performing anti-gay "conversion therapy" on minors.4 Months Ago6 Months Ago6 Months AgoIt's not clear that the practice...

Tampa City Council to discuss ban on anti-gay 'conversion therapy' for minors

TAMPA — The City Council could get its first look this morning at an ordinance that would ban mental health professionals from performing anti-gay "conversion therapy" on minors.

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It's not clear that the practice is being offered in the city — other than at some churches, which could be exempt — but council member Guido Maniscalco proposed the ordinance to build on other steps the city has taken to safeguard the rights of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual residents.

Like the creation of a domestic partnership registry in 2012, the ban would make "Tampa more welcoming" and "make people feel safer that their local government stands with them," Maniscalco says.

Miami Beach and Key West have passed similar bans recently.

The council meeting starts at 9 a.m.

5-minute parking rule faces repeal

Council members also will consider repealing the city's 5-minute parking rule, which has been a part of city code since 1989.

The Florida Department of Transportation recently told the city that the ordinance did not comply with a state law that governs the posting of signs on both state and local roads.

Under the rule, homeowners have long bought their own signs that say, "5 minute parking, City Code 15-43," and police have written parking tickets when they've received complaints.

It worked, say officials and neighborhood leaders, especially in parts of South Tampa where parking often spills over from commercial areas into neighborhoods.

"If you see a sign there, you get a little worried," said Anneliese Meier, vice president of the Parkland Estates Civic Association. "The signs definitely had an effect."

But police stopped writing tickets last month after the FDOT said the city could lose state and federal funding if it continued enforcing the rule.

Along with repealing the ordinance, council members are expected in coming months to discuss other approaches to regulating parking in neighborhoods.

Police crash could cost city $90,000

The council also is scheduled to consider paying $90,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a man injured when a Tampa police officer rear-ended his car.

Albert Fernandez, 69, sued the city in 2014 over a crash that took place on June 28, 2012. Fernandez was stopped at a traffic light at W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Highland Avenue when his car was rammed from behind by a city car operated by police officer Anna M. Owens, according to court records. City attorneys are recommending that the council approve the settlement.

Contact Richard Danielson at (813) 226-3403 or rdanielson@tampabay.com. Follow @Danielson_Times

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