Tennessee bill would let counselors deny service to LGBT people
And get ready for more boycotts of a bigoted state if Governor Bill Haslam signs it.
Senators agreed to a change made by the state House in the bill’s language that would let therapists reject clients based on “sincerely held principles,” as opposed to “sincerely held religious beliefs,” according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
State Rep. Dan Howell (R) pushed the legislation in response to the American Counseling Association’s decision to change its ethics code, telling counselors not to refer potential clients “based solely on the counselor’s personally held values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.”
The American Counseling Association has condemned the Tennessee bill, calling it an “unwanted and unnecessary blow to the counseling profession and those who benefit from the services of a professional counselor.” In a March statement, the group warned that the Tennessee bill would “essentially permit discrimination” and “would have a deleterious effect on countless people who seek mental and physical health services.”