While New Hampshire has passed a gag rule on licensed therapists, pro-family activists in California are celebrating the withdrawal of a similar bill. The sponsor of California’s therapy ban bill withdrew it from consideration on August 31, saying there was “more to learn” after his conversations with faith leaders.
The news from California follows the failure of therapy ban bills in Massachusetts and Maine.
Policymakers in other states are coming to understand how extreme a therapy ban can be – and extremist legislation is not good public policy.
Key to this unexpected outcome was groundwork by the California Family Council. Council President Jonathan Keller said, “People of faith across California and around the nation care deeply about our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers who identify as LGBTQ. [This California bill] would have tragically limited our ability to offer compassionate support related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and even to preach Jesus’ message of unconditional love and life transformation.” After the bill was withdrawn, the Council issued a statement thanking the sponsor for his courageous decision.
Cornerstone’s executive director, Shannon McGinley, welcomed the news from California. “This legislator is setting an example. He’s been willing to have some challenging conversations. He listened to professionals who work with vulnerable young people. Most of all, though, this bill’s withdrawal is a tribute to the compassionate outcry from Californians who oppose silencing therapists.”