The faith-based counselling ban bill we alerted you to last week in the Virginia Senate (SB 245) has a companion bill in the House, HB 386, which is on the move as well.

HB 386 passed out of the Subcommittee on Health Professions on Thursday (1/23), and is scheduled for hearing TOMORROW, Tuesday, January 28, before the full House Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions.

If HB 386 passes this committee, it could be heard in the full House within a couple of days, meaning it could come up for its last meaningful vote this week.

Background

Traditionally, adolescents struggling through the many challenges of “becoming,” of sorting out who they are and will be as an adult, have turned to their parents for wisdom and guidance, and all the more when they face special struggles along the way.  HB 386 would remove options from parents and their teens who may struggle with sexual feelings they do not want.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1979 that while adolescents often lack the capacity for judgment to make decisions regarding their physical or mental health care, “parents can and must make those judgments.” Parham v. J.R. (1979). When it comes to addressing same-sex attraction, HB 386 would eliminate this important legal presumption that protects families.

HB 386 does not outlaw any particular kind of therapy, but only the aim of reducing or eliminating same-sex attraction. Even “talk therapy” with that goal in mind would be outlawed under this measure.

Action Item

Please call or email your Virginia Delegate today and urge them to vote “No” on HB 386. If they are on the committee, they could hear this bill tomorrow; if they are not, they still may hear it this week. So, call your Delegate in either case and urge them to oppose.

Your message can as be simple as: “My name is _______ and I am a constituent of the Delegate (or a voter in their district). I urge you to vote ‘No’ on HB 386, a bill that would rob parents and their teens of the right to make the best treatment decisions for the child’s unwanted sexual desires or their choice of sexual identity.”

You might also add, “I am disturbed that this bill would outlaw a viewpoint rather than any particular method.”

Thank you for taking this stand today. Families throughout the Commonwealth are counting on you to speak up for them.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey

Executive Director