If your child (anyone under the age of 18) has wondered whether or not they are, in fact, heterosexual it could be illegal under HB 1661 for any “professional” to counsel them in any way that would encourage that–for lack of a better word–journey to their biological roots. The bill also prohibits any and all state-funded support for this purpose.
But if your child wondered if they may in fact “be” something other than heterosexual, counseling them in any way that does not encourage that journey, would definitely be illegal under HB1661.
I. “Conversion therapy” means any practices or treatments that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.
Hammer meet nail. And again.
Conversion therapy shall not include counseling that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition, or counseling that provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual-orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as such counseling does not seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Children or parents who want to seek professional guidance with more than one potential outcome might as well not bother. The only solution available under the law will be to instruct the child that whatever feelings they may have about their sexuality, they cannot be heterosexual.
“…including, but not limited to, a nurse, physician assistant, physician, psychologist, clinical social worker, clinical mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist, or licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in conversion therapy with a person under 18 years of age.
II. Any conversion therapy practiced by a licensed professional, as listed in paragraph I, on a patient under 18 years of age shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject such person to discipline by the relevant licensing authority.
Gay-way or the highway? It’s like some kind of state-sanctioned Gaystapo recruitment program.
To add weight to the idea that statutory gender discrimination and occupational fascism are a reasonable role for government to assume, the sponsors have prefaced the legal limitations with a number of references to studies that support their premise. They do not, however, provide any content that questions it.
More settled science or just more viewpoint discrimination?
The American College of Pediatricians would take issue with the limitations in HB1661. In a recently issued statement, they claim that this sort of narrow-minded Gender Ideology Harms Children. And they oppose the sort of transitional treatments that HB1661 could fund (with taxpayer dollars) in such a limited counseling environment.
When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V).5 The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved.2,4,5
5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.5
In a state where only one form of counseling is tolerated, how many of these young people could find themselves being classified with GD, or even encouraged to use hormone blockers as a path to some sort of resolution when in all likelihood the majority of them–if they had a wider range of counseling choices–would settle down to lead typical heterosexual lives.
In England, gender identity therapy is suggested for children as young as three. So it is no surprise that NHS gender treatment therapies have risen 1000% in the last five years alone.
But the NHS rationale is to provide “counseling” followed by hormone blockers, which is taking a heavy toll on taxpayer-funded budgets over what the DSM-V suggests is a complete waste of money because most of these kids will literally grow out of it.
As an aside, do HB1661‘s sponsors happen to have a plan to eventually fund these sorts of one-sided gender “therapies” through Medicaid expansion or other publicly funded medical coverage?
For all of those reasons, and let’s be honest, none of them, this is simply a bad bill. It is poorly written, badly worded, discriminates against heterosexuals, against rights of association and religious freedom of the health professionals, and could put children’s mental and physical health at risk by muddying up what professionals can and cannot do for parents or patients.
And then there’s this. Suicide rates among adults who have had chemical or surgical gender therapies are 20% higher than for those who did not have such treatments.
Bad bill. Kill it.
Update- fixed links.