August 2, 2019
Disgraced Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has directed his Board of Counseling to punish any counselor who responds to a teen’s cry for help to accept her own physical biology.
That’s called putting politics in front of people.
You have heard of these bans. They’re sometimes called bans on “conversion therapy.” LGBT activists describe nightmarish scenarios of cruel methods used on “gay” people to make them “straight,” without any real evidence, to get what they really want: sweeping bans to outlaw not only cruel methods, but all therapy. Even talk therapy.
They are speech bans, pure and simple.
Eighteen states have already thrown their teens under the bus. Democrats in Virginia have tried and failed to impose these speech bans through the legislative process. So Northam is doing it through the back door, through executive branch planned regulations.
They ban speech about unwanted same-sex attraction, but also about unwanted transgender feelings.
The regulations would ban talk therapy that “seeks to change” a young person’s “gender identity,” including “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions.”
Gosh, that almost sounds like these regulations would stop Fairfax County public school “sexperts” from trying to convince little boys that they might really be girls.
But read on. The regulations specify that the ban does not prohibit counseling “that provides assistance to a person undergoing gender transition” or that provides “acceptance” and “support” for a person’s “identity exploration.”
You got that? It’s a one-way street. Under Northam’s ban, counselors are only allowed to use words that promote transgenderism—they cannot use words to help someone avoid it.
As a philosophical matter, this is outrageous. Its legality is dubious.
But look at the real-world impact of this policy.
Say a girl suffers from gender dysphoria. Say at some point she “socially transitions” to living as a boy. Maybe she got the idea in her Fairfax County Sex Ed class. Now she wants help living as a girl.
Governor Northam wants to make sure she can’t get it.
Ah, but if she wants help living as a man, that she can find.
It’s a one-way ratchet. It’s the Hotel Transgender. You can check in, but you can never leave.
If you live in Virginia, you can tell Governor Northam what you think of his proposed regulations. He is playing politics with real people’s lives. And partisan politics should not be used to ban biology-affirming counseling for patients who want it.
August 7th is the deadline to offer comments on the initial stage of the planned regulations.
Please go to the Virginia Town Hall website HERE, click on “Enter a comment,” and tell Northam’s Board why this counseling ban is a very bad idea!
August 2, 2019
Parents across the country are rightfully concerned about efforts in the public school system to indoctrinate their children with a leftist agenda. In California, the LGBT lobby is taking this effort a step further: attempting to indoctrinate teachers.
Offered as an attempt to create a “safer environment” for LGBTQ students, A.B. 493 would require junior high and high school teachers to receive training on how to “support” students struggling with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. However, this “training” of teachers to “mentor” such students looks much more like state-sponsored, politically-correct coercion. This piece of legislation strong-arms public school teachers who are Christian to violate their consciences, affirming beliefs contrary to their sincerely-held religious beliefs.
To ensure all teachers leave their religious convictions at the door, specific “training”—adhering to curriculum written by “leading experts in supporting LGBTQ pupils”—is required to be taken by every junior high and high school teacher in public schools. Additionally, this training requires “sustained input and participation” from teachers, guaranteeing that teachers are understanding and complying with the LGBTQ agenda. The training required by this bill is a blatant violation of a teacher’s right to think freely and counsel adolescents according to their genuine and true religious worldview.
Two school districts in California (Moraga School District and Unified School District) have already implemented this “training” for teachers. Those having undergone the training have explained how the sessions did far more than merely inform teachers about how to counsel pupils who identify as LGBTQ. Rather, teachers were asked invasive questions regarding their own personal upbringing, such as whether or not they were raised to “believe there are two genders,” and if their “parents ever discuss[ed] choices… of gender.” Teachers that explained that their parents taught biblical (and scientifically correct) beliefs like the binary nature of sex were shamed and told their views were backward and wrong. Trainees were given additional information about how to deal with LGBTQ-identifying students and were explicitly told that they must keep a student’s sexual orientation and identity secret from parents.
Though no school can or will ever replace the necessary nurturing that a family gives a child, teachers are sometimes the only ones that can come close to giving students the objective wisdom and care that they are tragically not receiving at home. A.B 493 would successfully ban all junior high and high school teachers in public schools from giving any ounce of honest guidance about sexual orientation and gender identity to students who come and ask them for direction. As mandated by the bill, teachers would be required to affirm LGBT identities and refer students to activist organizations.
A.B. 493 undermines the ability of students to receive proper care and desecrates teachers’ rights to govern themselves according to their religious convictions. Partner with FRC and lend your voice in opposition to this destructive piece of legislation that deviates from the core principles this country was founded upon. If you or someone you know lives in California, click here to take action and oppose this bill that indoctrinates public school teachers.
Nicolas Reynolds is an intern at Family Research Council.