The push to ban mental health professionals from assisting minor clients in overcoming unwanted same-sex attraction is not just happening here in New York; it’s happening across the country as well. Unfortunately, 13 states have now passed laws like the Counselor Coercion Bill that New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms has (successfully) opposed here in New York.
This year, the Maine Legislature passed its version of a Counselor Coercion Bill. However, the State of Maine did not become the 14th state to ban sexual orientation change efforts with minors. The reason? Gov. Paul LePage.
On July 6, 2018, Gov. LePage displayed compassion, wisdom, and political courage by vetoing LD 912, “An Act to Clarify the Scope of Practice of Certain Licensed Professionals Regarding Conversion Therapy.” In his veto letter, Gov. LePage said, “I am vetoing LD 912 because it is bad public policy.” The Governor went on to make the following points:
- That no young person should experience abuse of any kind because he or her experiences same-sex attraction;
- That mental health professionals are already bound by “a defined scope of practice and standard of care per their statutory licensing requirements”;
- That parents “have the right to seek counsel and treatment for their children from professionals who do not oppose the parents’ own religious beliefs”; and
- That mental health professionals should not be barred from “providing their expertise to those who seek it for their own personal and basic questions such as, ‘How do I deal with these feelings I am experiencing?’”
Gov. LePage got it absolutely right.
On July 9, LD 912 died when the Maine House of Representatives voted to uphold the Governor’s veto. We thank the Lord for this encouraging victory in Maine, and we also congratulate our allies at the Christian Civic League of Maine for their successful advocacy.