By Tony Perkins
In Washington, D.C., destructive behavior isn’t just encouraged — efforts to stop it are punished! If kids are looking for a way out of their same-sex attractions, they’ll have to start outside of the nation’s capital. Under a measure just passed by the D.C. Council, counselors can lose their license just for offering the kind of therapy these children seek. Like California and New Jersey, the District is radically opposed to helping young people shake the unwanted sexual feelings they have for members of the same sex.
It’s all part of the new Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Act, which makes it a crime for therapists and mental health practitioners to coach children out of the sexual confusion they’re experiencing. Council member and author Mary Cheh insists that the District’s move is “a crucial step in the long battle” against “the counterproductive anti-homosexual mindset.” The fact that children are seeking this help doesn’t seem to matter to D.C., which is intent on locking kids into a lifestyle with devastating health, emotional, and societal consequences. Instead, the District wants to make it an offense to help children come to grips with their natural biology — opening a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs.
In a twisted irony, the Council made it quite clear that counseling aimed at helping kids make the transition into another sex is perfectly acceptable. It’s a ludicrous double standard — one that should draw the ire of every parent who rightly believes they should be the final authority on the kind of treatment their child should receive. As our own Peter Sprigg testified, “Never before has a state outlawed a form of mental health counseling based not upon the techniques used, but solely upon the goal which the client seeks to achieve. This is a shocking violation of the longstanding ethical principle of client autonomy.”
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Although the measure hasn’t been signed into law by Mayor Vincent Gray, most people believe it’s only a matter of time. Fortunately, the Mayor’s word won’t be the final one. Congress has official jurisdiction over the District of Columbia — a power they should exercise when they return in January to give parents and children the freedom they want and deserve.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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