TX Reps To Vote On Bill Shielding Religious Service Providers Who Put Kids Into ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy


Bucking the trend, Texas lawmakers want to protect those who choose to use providers of harmful "ex-gay" therapists.

In California, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Oregon (as soon as the governor signs it) lawmakers have made it illegal for children to be subjected to harmful "ex-gay" therapy. That so-called therapy is not only harmful but has been linked to suicide, and has been discredited by nearly every major medical organization nationwide, and by many others internationally.

So, naturally, as Texas state lawmakers increase their attacks on the LGBT community this month, before the legislative session ends, House members possibly today are expected to vote on a bill to protect welfare service providers who place children into that harmful, discredited, "ex-gay," "reparative," or "conversion" therapy that has been linked to suicide.

Rather than consult medical experts and actual science, Texas lawmakers want to poison and punish and damage children by encouraging what many who have undergone those "sexual orientation change therapies" call "torture." In April, President Barack Obama called for state lawmakers nationwide to ban the practice of conversion therapy for minors.

The language of HB 3864 is so broad that it also protects any child welfare service provider - which could include public or private welfare agencies, foster homes, adoption agencies, schools, etc. - from any action regarding a child, as long as that action was taken in response to "the provider's sincerely held religious beliefs."

For example, if a female child was raped by a male relative, this law could easily be used to deny her an abortion, forcing her to give birth to her rapist's child. Think vaccines are of the devil? No need to force the child's provider to vaccinate the child. The list is endless.

Or, in another example, as the Huffington Post reports, "the legislation protects welfare providers who want to give kids in their care 'a religious education,' including 'placing the children in a private or parochial school.' Three organizations that advocate on behalf of the LGBT community in Texas have argued this provision would allow providers to force gay and transgender minors into programs to change their sexual orientation or gender identity, under the guise of education."

The bill, should it become law, could "be used to deny all kinds of care to kids, including counseling or medical care, and to impose an agency's religious beliefs on children in their custody," Rose Saxe, senior staff attorney for the ACLU's LGBT project, told The Huffington Post.


Image by Kevin Zolkiewicz via Flickr and a CC license

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