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Washington State next to attempt a ban on change therapy

March 21, 2014 By: Tom Coy Category: Gay Politics, Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

February 14, 2014

The following excerpts are from the article “House Passes Ban on Life Change Therapy 94-4” by by Joseph Backholm on the Family Policy Institute website: “Yesterday the Washington State House of Representatives delivered a blow to religious freedom when it passed HB 2451 which bans therapy for minors to help them reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction. The bill, which passed 94-4, now moves to the Senate for consideration.”

“This bill, modeled after similar bills in New Jersey and California, makes it professional misconduct for a licensed therapist to provide sexual orientation change therapy to minors even when the client requests it. Therefore, it makes it illegal for a licensed counselor to counsel in a way that is consistent with the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or LDS understanding of sexuality…even in a church, mosque, or synagogue.”

“As a result, a minor with unwanted same-sex attraction will be prohibited by law from getting professional help.”

“It was expected that the bill would pass the Democrat controlled House of Representatives, but the final vote was surprising because of the amount of support it received. Thought to be highly controversial, the bill received nearly unanimous support even from House Republicans who, though often powerless to stop bad policy in the House, typically oppose attempts by the left to censor speech, restrict religious freedom, and interfere with family decisions.”

“However, this bill presented unique political challenges.”

“Proponents of the bill told stories about children being subjected to shock therapy and ice baths against their will. While that kind of aversive therapy is broadly condemned, there is little to no evidence that such therapy is done commonly if at all. The Washington State Department of Health said they have received no complaints about therapists performing coercive sexual orientation change therapy of any kind–much less ice baths and shock therapy–against the will of a client.” …