Please contact Governor Susana Martinez immediately and urge her to VETO Senate Bill 121, dealing with so-called “Conversion Therapy.”
This bill represents a shocking attack upon personal freedom. SB 121 would make it illegal—an actual crime (misdemeanor)—for any psychologist, counselor, therapist, social worker, doctor, nurse, or other medical professional to help any young person under the age of 18 to change their sexual attractions or behaviors from homosexual to heterosexual—even if that is what the young person desperately wants. It would also make it illegal to help a boy (a biological male) who thinks he is a girl to feel comfortable with being a boy; but it would not be illegal to help the same boy with his transition to presenting himself publicly as a girl.
In addition to criminal charges, any of these professionals could be threatened with the loss of his or her professional license—and thus entire livelihood—simply because they are willing to help young people with unwanted same-sex attractions or unwanted gender identity confusion achieve the young person’s own goals in this area.
This bill would violate a core ethical principle in the counseling profession—that of the client’s autonomy to choose the goals of therapy. It would also violate the freedom of speech of the therapist or counselor, potentially putting him or her at risk simply for presenting the evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and discussing with the client this possibility and how it could be pursued.
Finally, in some circumstances (when a counselor or therapist seeks to operate specifically from the point of view of a particular religion), it would violate the freedom of religion of client and therapist alike. It would prevent the client from being able to seek and find a therapist to help with living a life consistent with the teachings of the individual’s faith; and it would prevent the therapist from providing counseling from a faith-based perspective in support of the client’s own goals while still retaining a state license.
Critics of “sexual orientation change efforts” or “sexual reorientation therapy” (the terms more commonly used by practitioners than “conversion therapy”) claim that this therapy is ineffective and harmful. Yet there is both anecdotal and scientific evidence that many people have found such therapy both beneficial and effective; and even the American Psychological Association has admitted that there is no “valid causal evidence” that it causes harm.
Unfortunately, this attack upon the freedom of both clients and therapists has already passed the New Mexico legislature. It is vital that you contact Governor Martinez and ask her to veto Senate Bill 121.
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Thank you for standing with us to protect and defend Faith, Family, and Freedom!