N.H. House Passes Bill to Muzzle Therapists; It’s Time for Messages to Senate & Governor

The therapy ban has passed the New Hampshire House. Next stop: the Senate.

The House passed HB 587 by a vote of 179-171 on February 8. See below for details of the vote. The measure seeks to prohibit licensed mental health professionals from offering talk therapy for minors who are experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. The bill threatens loss of licensure for licensed therapists engaging in open discussion guided by a client’s self-determined goal, if that goal is reducing or eliminating same-sex attraction and/or gender dysphoria.

The Senate has not yet scheduled a hearing on HB 587. Watch Cornerstone’s web site, Facebook page, and email newsletters for updates.

In a recent interview, a reporter asked Gov. Chris Sununu about the legislation.

Sununu said he opposes conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation using psychological or spiritual interventions. “I don’t believe in it,” he said. “So I’m curious to see if that bill will move forward,” hinting that he has a signature pen in hand.

The Governor might not be aware that “spiritual interventions” are not addressed in the bill, which is aimed at state-licensed counselors. Furthermore, the bill leaves a counselor open to loss of license for working with a client whose therapeutic goal is reduction of feelings of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. The Governor’s phone number is (603) 271-2121.

Which House Members Supported the Therapy Ban?

Note that House member names and districts are available on the General Court web site. The official roll call on the “ought to pass” motion for HB 587 is also on the site, with a “Yea” vote being a vote to ban talk therapy.

Every Democrat and Libertarian present voted Yea, supporting the therapy ban.
Republicans who voted Yea, supporting the therapy ban:
  • Belknap County: Herb Vadney
  • Carroll County: Karel Crawford
  • Cheshire County: none
  • Coos County: John Fothergill, Robert Theberge
  • Grafton County: Erin Hennessey, Brad Bailey, Skylar Boutin
  • Hillsborough County: Carolyn Gargasz, James Belanger, Anthony Pellegrino, Eric Schleien, Terry Wolf
  • Merrimack County: Dan Wolf
  • Rockingham County: Philip Bean, Yvonne Dean-Bailey, Bob Elliott, Betty Gay, Jim Nasser, Brian Stone
  • Strafford County: none
  • Sullivan County: Jim Grenier
Excused absences for the vote: Keith Ammon (r),  David Binford (r), Duane Brown (r), Thomas Buco (d), John Carr (r), David Cote (d), Roger Dontonville (d), Valerie Fraser (r), Robert Hull (r), Latha Mangipudi (d), Rebecca McBeath (d), David Murotake (r), Mel Myler (d), Steve Negron (r), Dick Patten (d), John Plumer (r), Bob Rimol (r), Gregory Smith (r), Timothy Smith (d), Paul Somero (r), Charlie St. Clair (d), Yvonne Thomas (d), Tim Twombly (r), John Valera (r), Robert Walsh (d), Steven Woitkun (r)

Not Voting, reason unknown: Caroletta Alicea (d), Roger Berube (d), Barb Biggie (r), Bing Judd (r), Douglas Long (r), Vincent Paul Migliore (r), Mary Jane Mulligan (d), Keith Murphy (r), Barbara Shaw (d), Ryan Smith (r), Dale Sprague (d), Franklin Sterling (r), Rio Tilton (r), Nick Zaricki (r)

Speaker Gene Chandler was presiding and did not vote.

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