Tennessee: don't deny LGBTQ folks mental health care!

  • by: Kelsey Bourgeois
  • recipient: Tennessee General Assembly, Governor Bill Haslam

Legislators in Tennessee are trying to make it harder for LGBTQ people to get mental health care. They’ve introduced a bill that says counselors could refuse care to anyone who has different religious beliefs than them. This discriminatory bill has already passed in the House - now it’s on the Senate calendar for today! If we don’t speak out against it, this bill could be turned into law.

Sign this petition to tell the Tennessee Senate to vote No on HB 1840.

A huge majority of Tennessee residents subscribe to religious beliefs that view being LGBTQ as a “sin.” Meaning that if this bill passes a huge majority of counselors could legally turn away LGBTQ folks who are in need of their care. The bill also means that atheists, divorced people, and other "sinners" could be refused help.

The bill goes directly against professional standards in the field. The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics says that counselors may not refuse clients on grounds of “...Religion/spirituality... gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status…”. The ACA has said that this bill is an unprecedented attack on their professional Code of Ethics.

The best outcomes in counseling happen when the counselor/client experience is safe and protected. The client should feel comfortable being totally open and honest, as that is when the best results occur. This bill would mean that a client's honesty could result in their counselor kicking them to the curb.

But the lawmakers behind this bill don’t care about professional standards or truly helping those in need. Instead they are focused on forcing their personal religious beliefs into other people’s lives. Now innocent people seeking mental health care will pay the price it it passes.

This harmful bill has already passed in the House and it’s going to the Senate today - now is our chance to speak up! If we don’t make our voices heard, access to mental health care for LGBTQ folks could become severely limited in Tennessee.

Sign this petition to tell Tennessee legislators it’s not ok for counselors to turn away patients who need their help.

Legislators in Tennessee are trying to make it harder for LGBTQ people to get mental health care. They’ve introduced a bill that says counselors could refuse care to anyone who has different religious beliefs than them. This discriminatory bill has already passed in the House - now it’s on the Senate calendar for today! If we don’t speak out against it, this bill could be turned into law.


Sign this petition to tell the Tennessee Senate to vote No on HB 1840.


A huge majority of Tennessee residents subscribe to religious beliefs that view being LGBTQ as a “sin.” Meaning that if this bill passes a huge majority of counselors could legally turn away LGBTQ folks who are in need of their care. The bill also means that atheists, divorced people, and other "sinners" could be refused help.


The bill goes directly against professional standards in the field. The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics says that counselors may not refuse clients on grounds of “...Religion/spirituality... gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status…”. The ACA has said that this bill is an unprecedented attack on their professional Code of Ethics.


The best outcomes in counseling happen when the counselor/client experience is safe and protected. The client should feel comfortable being totally open and honest, as that is when the best results occur. This bill would mean that a client's honesty could result in their counselor kicking them to the curb.


But the lawmakers behind this bill don’t care about professional standards or truly helping those in need. Instead they are focused on forcing their personal religious beliefs into other people’s lives. Now innocent people seeking mental health care will pay the price it it passes.


This harmful bill has already passed in the House and it’s going to the Senate today - now is our chance to speak up! If we don’t make our voices heard, access to mental health care for LGBTQ folks could become severely limited in Tennessee.


Tennessee legislators: it’s not ok for counselors to turn away patients who need their help.
Update #24 years ago
Christian therapists are pushing back against this awful bill, they don't think it's Christian at all. There are only 6 more business days to get the governor to veto this bill. Please share this petition now to raise our collective impact on this issue.
http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2016/04/14/christian-therapists-push-back-against-tennessee-counseling-bill/
Update #14 years ago
This awful bill passed in the Senate yesterday, April 11. Now it just needs to be signed into law by Governor Haslam. Please share this petition with friends and family ASAP, we need to make our voices louder if we want to stop this bill!
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