Friday, February 8, 2019

Kill Bill: ADF swoops into NE to take out 2 bills targeting conversion "therapy"; one is withdrawn

WOWT's coverage is here.
KETV and KMTV are reporting that Senator Megan Hunt withdrew a bill (LB168) defining conversion therapy as child abuse, which it certainly is. From KMTV:
Today, Nebraska Senator Megan Hunt filed to withdraw a bill that would classify conversion therapy as child abuse. Hunt said she chose to withdraw the bill with support of LGBTQ+ advocates.
     Though she has withdrawn one bill, another is still up for discussion which would prevent licensed medical providers from administering conversion therapy.
Here's the statement from Senator Hunt:
Lincoln, NE— 2.7.19 — Today, with the support of LGBTQ+ advocates, Senator Megan Hunt filed a motion to withdraw LB 168, her bill to classify the provision of conversion therapy as child abuse. “With the support of many LGBTQ+ advocates, I have made the decision to withdraw LB168, my bill to classify conversion therapy as child abuse,” Hunt said. “Conversion therapy, of course, is child abuse, and I believe in protecting children by holding the institutions and providers of this abuse accountable. “From survivors of conversion therapy and their advocates, I learned that parents are often tricked, lied to, and misled into placing their children into faith-based counseling without the knowledge that they are subjecting their children to conversion therapy. I share the position of LGBTQ advocate organizations like The Trevor Project and Born Perfect that our focus should be on those who administer these treatments, not on parents. “I believe in educating parents about the effects of conversion therapy, the predatory nature of many faith-based counseling centers, and helping parents realize that being LGBTQ+ is not a choice and that their children should be loved as they are and do not need to be cured. For that reason, I am withdrawing LB168. I ask supporters to focus on LB167, my bill to prohibit licensed medical providers from administering conversion therapy.” LB 167 is scheduled in the Judiciary Committee today at 1:30pm in the Warner Chamber at the Capitol.
KETV's coverage is here.
     The well-financed ADF, which used to be known as the Alliance Defense Fund and is now known as Alliance Defending Freedom, swooped into Lincoln in the person of Matt Sharp to oppose any restrictions on conversion "therapy." The ADF has been to Nebraska before; in 2012 it failed to kill LB912 (banning municipalities from passing gay rights laws unless such legislation exists in Nebraska statutes (which would make local laws unnecessary)) and it failed later that year to kill an amendment to the Omaha Charter protecting LGBTs from arbitrary bias.
     Sharp said this to KETV: "What this does is kick the client out of the driver's seat and tells them what goals are permissible and which are not, which conversations you can have, and which you cannot."
     Megan Hunt said her bill doesn't tell counselors what they can promise unhappy gays, it just doesn't allow them to charge for "therapy" that has been widely debunked by the professional organizations of both psychologists and psychiatrists.

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