Counseling ban would undermine parental rights, says group

Friday, March 15, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

therapist signA bill in Massachusetts aims to ban counseling of minors with unwanted same-sex attractions. A state-based organization, however, sees that as a restriction on speech and a "grave threat" to parental rights.

House Bill 140 was introduced by Representative Kay Khan (D-11th Middlesex). She views efforts to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors as abuse, but the Massachusetts Family Institute says counseling is not "child abuse."

"This is the government of Massachusetts stepping into the therapy room and saying We're going to tell you therapists what you can and cannot say," Massachusetts Family Institute's Michael King explains. "… We're very concerned from a free-speech point of view when it comes to licensed therapists [and] we're also very concerned on the parental-rights part of this."

King shares that a woman and her 17-year-old daughter recently came to the Massachusetts Family Institute seeking help. The teen's father believes she desires to be a boy and wants to give her puberty blockers – but the mother doesn't want to go that route.

King

"Mom is concerned and thinks that her daughter is just confused about who she is and needs therapy; but under the counseling ban, she cannot get the therapy," King continues.

"If that therapist enters into that therapy, they could be prosecuted for child abuse [and] could lose their license for giving that kind of therapy. So this doesn't allow parents to have the right to decide what is good and what is not good for their own children."

House Bill 140 has been approved in the State House and now awaits approval in the Senate.

"It was passed in the House last year and it never made it to the Senate, so we're hoping the same thing happens this year," says King. "If the Senate does pass it, then we need to put pressure on the governor to protect the free-speech rights of therapists and [protect] parental rights. So the people of Massachusetts should contact their state legislators and let them know how they feel about the counseling ban."

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