For the past several years, LGBT activists have been pushing for the passage of the Counselor Coercion Bill here in New York. This legislation would make it unlawful for licensed mental health professionals to assist minor clients with unwanted same-sex attraction. The Counselor Coercion Bill is based on two false beliefs: The false belief that homosexual attractions constitute a core, unchangeable part of a person’s identity, and the false belief that efforts to overcome or resolve unwanted homosexual attractions are both futile and harmful to those who engage in them. The Counselor Coercion Bill would harm young people with unwanted same-sex attraction by preventing them from having access to counseling that could help them avoid falling into homosexual sin.
To date, nine states have passed their own counselor coercion bills. Local governments in Cincinnati, OH; Philadelphia, PA; Seattle, WA, and many other places have done the same. However, a funny thing happened in Miami-Dade County, Florida on October 3: A Counselor Coercion Bill was brought to a vote, and it was defeated.
According to the Miami Herald, last week’s vote by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners “followed hours of public testimony, most of it from opponents of the proposed ordinance… Robert Myers, pastor at the Miami Baptist Church, stated, ‘I think this is a freedom issue we’re dealing with here.’ County Commissioner Joe Martinez asked, ‘Why is this even in front of us? [You] can’t tell me what I should tell my child, or what I can’t. You’re stepping into my house.’” The measure was defeated, 4-7.
Two encouraging lessons can be drawn from this news. First, it is possible to defeat counselor coercion bills, and it is possible to do so even in places that lean Democratic. (No Republican presidential candidate has prevailed in Miami-Dade County since 1988.) Second, strong and visible Christian opposition is vitally important in defeating counselor coercion bills. It should be noted that in Miami-Dade County, most of the public testimony came from opponents of the bill; also, one of those speaking against the bill was a pastor.
The takeway is this: NYCF can continue fighting off the Counselor Coercion Bill, but we can’t do it without the Lord’s help—and yours. If you have not yet written your state legislators to express your opposition, please visit our Legislative Action Center and do so today.