Urgent: Last Chance to Halt Discriminatory Ban on Counseling

We need all parental rights champions in Virginia to call your delegate today and urge them to oppose House Bill 386, which would illegalize counseling that helps a teen reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction.

Yesterday, H.B. 386 passed the House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions by a vote of 18 to 4. Its next stop, a full vote on the floor of the House of Delegates, could be scheduled for any day—even as soon as today.

This will be the last meaningful opportunity to halt this discriminatory bill.


If the aim of H.B. 386 is to stop dangerous counseling practices, such as electroshock therapy, it is woefully inadequate and yet overbroad. The bill never mentions or restricts any particular method of counseling.

Instead, it discriminates against the counseling aim of helping a teen reduce or eliminate unwanted sexual attractions to another person of the same sex.

The aim of the bill is not to curb practices, but to discriminate against families and youth who want to be “straight,” denying them—and only them—the right to choose their own sexual identity and future.

It also discriminates against all teens who struggle with same-sex attraction, by denying them—and only them—the judicially recognized right to have their important health and welfare decisions made with their parents and not by some agent or officer of the State.

In Calabretta v. Floyd, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared, “The government’s interest in the welfare of children embraces not only protecting children from physical abuse, but also protecting children’s interest … in the lawfully exercised authority of their parents [emphasis added].”

HB 386 would rob only same-sex attracted youth of this vital legal interest.

Action Item

Please take a moment right now, before you close this email, and call your Virginia delegate. (You can find their contact information here.) Urge them to vote “No” on H.B. 386.

You can use your own words, use arguments from the above “Background” section or our earlier emails on this bill, or simply tell them the following:

“I am a constituent, and I’m calling to urge you to vote ‘No’ on H.B. 386. This bill discriminates against families on the basis of their counseling goals, without actually outlawing any particular counseling methodology. And it robs sexual minority youth of the right to make their own health-care decisions with their parents by imposing a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter course of action predetermined by the legislature. This wrongs our youth and it wrongs our families.”

Thank you for making your voice heard and for standing with us to protect children by empowering parents.


Michael Ramey

Executive Director