female therapist with teen client
Should therapists be able to refuse clients on religious grounds?

Should therapists be allowed to refuse clients or deny care on religious grounds?

An Idaho bill which is rapidly advancing through the state legislature would allow mental health professionals to deny the care a client is seeking should it violate their religious beliefs.

Proponents of the bill say that the bill is necessary to defend the religious freedom of Idaho’s therapists and counselors, letting them refuse counsel on any number of issues which might violate their faith – such as clients seeking divorce, an abortion, or struggling with their sexuality.

Critics say it's a thinly disguised attack on women and LGBTQ+ people's access to mental health care. 

Protection to Discriminate?

Senate Bill 1352 would allow therapists and counselors to deny patients seeking "outcomes or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held religious, moral, or ethical principles of the counselor or therapist."

The bill has already passed the Idaho Senate, and is now moving to the state House.

Should the bill become law, mental health professionals could not be sued for denying care on religious grounds, and may have further legal protections beyond that. 

"No Idahoan should be required to check their moral or ethical principles at the door of their profession," explained bill sponsor State Sen. Carl Bjerke. “That’s what this is about.”

Critics Respond

Well, not everyone agrees. 

“This is about gay people," declared State Sen. James Ruchti. “That’s what we’re talking about.”

Many fear that the law, if passed, will largely serve to increase stigmas against already marginalized groups like the LGBTQ+ community, making crucial mental health services more difficult for them to seek out.

In attacking the bill, critics posed hypothetical scenarios to test its consequences. For example, what happens if a domestic violence victim tries to discuss seeking a divorce with a therapist but is shut down becuse that person believes divorce under any circumstances is sin? 

Others simply wondered what the bill hopes to accomplish. Several opponents point out that therapists and counselors can already refer clients to other mental health professionals should their values be unaligned.

“What you cannot do is shame that individual on the way out after engaging in one of the most vulnerable conversations people have,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Abby Lee.

The bill next faces a vote in the state House before it would go to the governor's desk for signature. 

What is do you make of this effort? Should therapists have the right to deny care to patients based on their religious values?

150 comments

  1. Theresa C. Marquess's Avatar Theresa C. Marquess

    If the therapist cannot be unbiased then he is in the wrong business. The job requires a degree of understanding and compassion if the individual is going to help anyone! Don't let prejudice raise its ugly head!

  1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

    This is what we used to refer to as a SWAP -- solution without a problem. Anyone who insists to be counselled by a therapist who rejects him needs more than therapy. Just how effective could that therapy possibly be.

    1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Speaking as a Clinical Counselor living and working in Idaho, I agree with you that this is yet another example of Republicans "solving" a problem of their own creation.

      On the other hand, I need to quibble with your claim that "Anyone who insists to be counselled by a therapist who rejects him needs more than therapy." Many people in Idaho -- especially the poor -- have little choice of healthcare providers. I have talked with many people who have gone from therapist to therapist, finding that none of them was affirming of their values.

      1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

        While it is not acceptable for a therapist to pass judgement on the worth of a patient, neither is it his responsibility to affirm values which are self destructive. Maybe a good rule would be, "If nobody approves of your values, question the values."

        1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

          Go along to get along? Your idea is actually the most un American comment you could make, and yes the most un Christian thing to roll out of the most bigoted uneducated mouth on this planet. Stop thinking you have been granted the right to be a God with judgement powers because you think this makes you closer to living eternally

          1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

            If you think my comment said anything like "go along to get along", one of us does indeed need help.

            1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

              It’s called inferring…not everything is literally. I hope that one day you become educated.

              1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

                Oh, my mistake. Let me rephrase in my uneducated way. If you inferred my comment implied anything like "go along to get along", one of us does indeed need help.

              2. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

                I’m so happy for your new journey towards enlightenment and seeking help! I hope you find a therapist that assist you…no matter his/her sexual orientation. Keeps us posted on your seeking help that you have requested.

              3. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

                The first step toward enlightenment is to realize and acknowledge your ignorance. I will if you will.

    2. Farajallah Michael Yazbek's Avatar Farajallah Michael Yazbek

      The Bible says to leave them to their reprobate ways. Read Romans. Then tell me if following your morals and being a true Christian is easy. There should ALWAYS be someone willing to tell the barsh truth, even if it hurts. Otherwise, the therapist becomes the enabler. A good therapist will try to counsel first to effect better behavior. If all else fails, THEN refuse further help on the grounds that the patient simply wants to have an excuse to continue the bad behavior. Helping overcome traumatic issues, however, should always be the focus in mental health, and assistance with resetting the moral compass is necessary in order to have positive outcomes in therapy. I always refer them to a good study of the Bible that forces them to sit down and actually practice the teachings for a predetermined period, based on the person's situation. I encourage the person to get others in his or her group to join in for moral support. It works well for my folks because they're inmates in a nearby prison, as I am part of the local prison ministry here. These guys need it more than anyone in order to break their "victim mentality" issues and narcissist attitudes. When the guys graduate they get a certificate that goes into their files. Many of them go on to break the chain of bad behavior that landed them behind bars in the first place. Some, unfortunately, can never be reached spiritually, so they must be turned over to a more secular counseling program that often fails to end the recidivism. It's the way it is. After all, the therapist is a coach of life, which does, indeed, include behavior and lifestyle preferences based on a person's morals and teachings. A good coach teaches the fundamentals but cannot make the actual plays in the game of choice. All a coach does is to bring about the best performance possible for the players through training and guidance. Just saying...

      1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

        I wish y’all would find a deep dark hole and take your cult to the bottom of it, but alas y’all are a virulent plague upon mankind. You bully, shame, murder, and snuff out anyone’s light that wants nothing to do with y’all. It would be wonderful if y’all left people alone. But you don’t. You see us happy nonbelievers and in your fits of jealous envy, you smash us down to get your kicks. Y’all love to play victim in order to get your way, it’s why so many right wing Christians resort to DARVO tactics.

        1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

          Robert, you should write your congressman to get a law passed so you can round us up and put us in that deep dark hole you want us in.

          I think those old WW2 buildings in Germany are still in good enough shape to be used again. Maybe in your new law you could make provisions to fly us all to Germany so you don't have to build new camps here.

          Think about the taxpayers, they'll want efficiency when you spend their dollars.

          1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

            No. I don’t roll that way, silly goose. That’s your lot’s problem. Y’all are the ones trying murder innocent trying to simply exist on terms that aren’t Bronze Age super station. The only reason why the death toll isn’t higher is because you cowards are waiting for conservatives to legally sanction and open season on anyone who isn’t them. Y’all fall there eventually, the problem is that you drag others with you. Sorry, conservatives aren’t an attacked or endangered group of people. So you making a false equivalency between yourself and Holocaust victims is rather disingenuous and disgusting. So what’s your response, again? lol More DARVO. Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. I’m saying that if y’all wanna self segregate so y’all holy rollers are together, go nuts, go to mars. Hell. Y’all would be super happy in Russia with the other christo-fascists running around there. The difference between you and I, SOJ, is that I don’t want you to die. Or be in a concentration camp. Just somewhere else. Hyperbole gets you nowhere.

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    As a Therapist I feel that they should be even more understanding about someone's feelings. Unless they specifically state that they are a Christian Therapist. Then they should accept everyone.

    1. Misty Leighann Chapman's Avatar Misty Leighann Chapman

      I agree, as a therapist you should know that you'll have all different kinds of patients,who have all different kinds of needs. If you can't bring yourself to be unbiased to every situation that may come to you for help,then I think you should choose a profession that doesn't require you to give Moral advice, and I do believe the Bible tells us not to judge people. At the end of the day it's just legally protected preducice. It's also really so sad that this day in time and people are still being shamed for their sexuality, skin color, religion, etc I could go on and on but that's just my opinion.

      1. John McElligott's Avatar John McElligott

        Declining to counsel someone who embraces a lifestyle thought to be sinful is actually a blessing and a demonstration of Chritian compassion. Seeking guidance under these circumstances would inevitably be harmful to both parties.

        The issue is not whether a provider should be able to discriminate but on whether forcing a provider to serve those with whom there is religious conflict is actually malpractice.

    2. Richard Albright's Avatar Richard Albright

      I too, am a therapist and if a client needs help, I am there for them regardless of their faith or beliefs.

    3. Robert Gagnon's Avatar Robert Gagnon

      As a professional you should be able to treat everybody. Therapists like other doctors may specialize in certain areas, like pediatrics or ADD etc. For the best outcome you should see a specialist more inclined to meet your needs. I'm sure their religion wouldn't keep them from referring a more suitable therapist. Anyone that declines to treat you is not the one for you anyways. Let's not get out the flags and signs and make a big deal over a mute point.

      1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

        First, Robert, this is hardly a "mute point." Republicans have made this a very loud point in their culture wars. (Yes, I know you meant to say it was a "moot" point; which is just another way to say that this is Republicans passing legislation to "solve" a problem that doesn't really exist).

        You are right that "For the best outcome you should see a specialist more inclined to meet your needs," but speaking as a Clinical Counselor practicing in Idaho, such specialists are not always available -- especially to the very people against whom this legislation is directed -- here in Idaho.

        Finally, your claim that "I'm sure their religion wouldn't keep them from referring a more suitable therapist" is just flat silly. Someone who claims to be a "Christian counselor" who believes in "conversion therapy" is NOT going to refer a patient to an LGBTQ+ affirming therapist. That is not a hypothetical for me. I have seen this over and over.

        Oh... and yes.. we still have "therapists" here in Idaho who offer conversion therapy.

    4. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

      Correct. It’s about the job of the therapist to help those in need and not the need of the therapist.

  1. Donald J Rothschild Jr's Avatar Donald J Rothschild Jr

    I noticed a lot of people responded that this is all about the LGBTQ+ community. While that is most likely this bill was drafted it goes way further than anyone realizes. What if the therapist decides not to treat mixed couples, or your not their “type” of Christian, or your black, or brown, or Asian, etc. . This is nothing more than blatant discrimination of anything.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Gay bashing again what is wrong with people of the Great USA don't you have anything better to do with your lives then pick on the LGBTQ people the last blog I wrote on was about this subject and if you can't or accept people then your not good religious people and you should be ashamed of yourselves.Unless you stop all this hatred I'm not going to give my thoughts on this and I will sadly unsubscribe from the Monastery and I'm 100% Heterosexual

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Whats wrong with people who just wont seem to understand that you dont have to deal with LGBTQ people if it violates your religious beliefs? The SCOTUS has already made this very clear. And the LGBTQ people dont have to deal with you either IF they can prove their recognized religion has teachings that say they dont have to.

      So why all the fuss since you cant change it without rewriting the whole 1st Amendment.

      My advice is have a coke and a smile and just hush as all you are doing is upsetting yourself and raising your blood pressure and there isnt a thing you can do to change it as long as the 1st Amendment exists.

  1. Charles Leroy Good II's Avatar Charles Leroy Good II

    If a therapist refuses to help another person for their religious preference of thought then they shouldn’t be in this profession. They take a professional oath to serve others. They are required to follow it.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      What professional oath? Doctors do it all the time as their oath says "do no harm" yet they preform abortions, and in some parts of the country they help people commit suicide. So what exactly is your point?

      1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

        You are right, Daniel Gray, that therapists do not take a "professional oath." However, we (I am a Licensed Clinical Counselor) do agree to adhere to one or more Codes of Ethics, which serve exactly the same purpose.

        In other words, you are correct that Charles Leroy Good II used the wrong words, but at the same time you are exactly wrong.

        Good job being pedantic... yet again!

      2. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

        Can you spot the differences between an Apple 🍎 and an orange 🍊?

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          Can you spot the difference between the SCOTUS Decisions and the Constitution, and what some people in this thread wish it said?

          1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

            Tsk, tsk, tsk, still trying to push your conservative interpretation of the 1st amendment again, gray? You silly boy. Again. Congress does not honor any religion. Meaning that a religious person cannot sign into laws based on their religion. Whether it’s Islam, Christianity, or any other religion. A most of the laws we have that are Bible Thumper based were unconstitutional when they were encoded. It’s almost like hypocrisy has been part of the US code since its inception, with high control seeking individuals using the spirit of the law, to undermine the letter of the law. Which is how we get goofballs like you yammering on about how churches and Christians can do whatever they want so long as they say “ItS PaRt oF mY rELiGioN.” Kinda like how cops can get away with murder so long as they say they’re afraid for their lives. Even though they have 10 kinds of pain on their utility belts. Interesting how the two correlate.

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              Tsk Tsk Tsk, how sad. How am I interpreting or projecting anything when what I said was taken DIRECTLY from the 1st Amendment. You are just upset Runhke that you were proved wrong yet again. Oh and please take a look at the top part of the hearing room in the SCOTUS building, you will see Moses and the 10 Commandments and a lot of other Christian images. So try and say again that SCOTUS does not honor a specific religion?

              And No sorry wrong again, most of the laws we have in the Constitution are based on Christian laws with some of the Cherokee laws thrown in for good measure. Thats history, seems you failed at it.

              And wrong again. The SCOTUS has ruled in at least 16 cases in the last 10 years that NO community nor state not department and not even Congress can male a law that violates a persons religion. Or I guess the Cake makers decision and the Little Sisters of the Poor's decision and the Photographers and webpage makers decisions seem to slip your mind? Or hows about the vity in Michigan that tried to ban a farmer from the public veggie sale all because he refused to allow a gay couple to have their wedding on his property, right up till the federal courts slapped the city so hard they are still reeling from the impact and had to remove their decision and PAY the farmer for lost sales.

              Like it or not Runke, the Constitution DOES allow this and it does not matter if you dont like it or not, this is the law and the ONLY way you are going to change it is with a constitutional amendment. So deal with it and stop whining.

              Interesting how you conveniently ignore reality when it does not seem to git your agenda and then try to claim it does not exist.

  1. Dr Asha Sharma's Avatar Dr Asha Sharma

    We are all religious leaders doing GODS work on this planet. As humans why do we discriminate when GOD does not. Have we become so anti religious with discriminations injustice for fellow humans . Less spread love for all.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      And how do you know that God does not discriminate? Or is this just your belief? At the final judgement God will pick the ones that he wants and the others will be punished. That IS (according to your beliefs) discrimination.

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Believers are separated unto Jesus.
        How does one separate things?
        One must discriminate.
        Who separates believers? Jesus does. Jesus discriminates. What are the parameters for Jesus' discrimination? The Bible contains the parameters that Jesus uses when he discriminates.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          SOJ, read the reply I was answering and then re read my reply.

  1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

    A professional therapist should be able to put personal beliefs aside and follow established professional guidelines for his or her field. If he or she is in private practice, then he or she has greater flexibility in accepting or not accepting clients for a variety of reasons. If the therapist's decision is communicated professionally and courteously, then the issue should be done. Since this is in the Idaho legislature, I'm wondering what's really behind the legislation, and I'm more than a little suspicious. When politicians get involved, it can't be good.

    1. James Richard Munro's Avatar James Richard Munro

      After President Ragon was out of office, He was asked this question, What's the scarcest thing you ever heard when you were president? The reply? HI, I'm the Federal Government, and I'm here to help.

      I am a Christion and a republican. My best friend is an atheist and a democrat. He doesn't try to convert me, and I don't try to convert him. YES, we discuss politics and religion often, and we disagree on many things. We just have respect for each other. Why can't the Gay`s do the same thing? Respectfully, Pastor Jim

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Pastor Jim, every group has it's activists who are looking for a fight and usually find one. Do you think businesses should be able to discriminate at will or only for religious reasons? And how does a society decide if the reasons given are, indeed, legitimate or is that left to each person to decide?

        1. James Richard Munro's Avatar James Richard Munro

          So, If I invited a Rabi to a pork tasting contest, you don't think his religion is a good reason to refuse? Even though I would pay him for the service? Pastor Jim

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            James, a pork eating contest is not a business as far as I know, especially if you're paying the contestants. If that's how businesses worked they'd be out of business within a day.

            1. James Richard Munro's Avatar James Richard Munro

              Russel WHAT IF i OWN A PORK CANNING FACTORY? Once a year, I invite the public to a pork cooking challenge and don't pay them. They pay me to enter the contest. I pay independent judges who are not my employees. You sure do assume a lot. Paster Jim

              1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

                😂 I'm sorry, James. But that whole thing just hit my funny bone. I assume the good Rabbi would politely decline even though his mouth might be watering at the thought.

      2. oy_gevalt's Avatar oy_gevalt

        "Jim", as usual you make no sense. Since when does one need a "good reason" to decline an invitation to an event?

  1. Tanya Keller's Avatar Tanya Keller

    Don't go into mental health care if you don't want to provide mental health care. You are in the wrong career if you can't treat particular people or make judgements on people's lives when providing medical care.

  1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

    If someone wants to pick and choose who they help and who they turn away based upon their personal beliefs, they have no business employed as a professional therapist. That's simply not professional behavior.

    If I owned a clinic and one of my therapists cherry-picked clients based on personal beliefs, I would fire them. Not only is it unethical to prolong the suffering of someone that you allowed to make an appointment with you and thus implied the availability of treatment to, but it damages the reputation of the clinic and of the profession itself. And it should remain legal to fire someone who will not do the work for which they are employed.

    When you accept an appointment you are taking responsibility for the welfare of that client, because you can't know immediately how critical their situation is, who else they may have seen, who they can afford to see, how long they've waited to see someone for any number of reasons. You are taking on the responsibility of triage. If you take that time and waste it by considering your personal beliefs instead of your professional duty, you are harming a client by hindering their treatment through delay and other potential limits.

    If you are unable to competently perform your duties as a therapist, you are a bad therapist and you need to go find a different job where your priorities are not at odds with your responsibilities. And the same for any job that your personal beliefs may prevent you from performing. Go do something else, you are unsuitable for this job.

  1. James Richard Munro's Avatar James Richard Munro

    Remember the fuss over the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for the gay couple? Sounds like the same thing. Yes, you should be able to refuse service to anyone that you find offensive. Especially if it contradicts your religious beliefs. Pastor Jim M

    1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

      Dear Pastor: Please obtain a Licensed Professional Counseling degree to see the folly In your comment, and in the folly of calling yourself a pastor. Thanks 🙏

      1. James Richard Munro's Avatar James Richard Munro

        David. Spoken like a committed gay person. Your mother must be proud.

        1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

          James: It sounds like you’re a pre teen or teenager. Barbs are for babies.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Then why are you spouting them?

        2. oy_gevalt's Avatar oy_gevalt

          Jim,

          "committed gay person"? What does that mean? I am a gay person and my mother has no problem with it. In fact, she was so delighted that I was finally able to marry my life partner that she had her own bridesmaids present in a similar capacity at my wedding.

          What is with your obsession with gay people? Have you nothing better to do with your time?

    2. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

      How can you equate something as trivial as cake to the care of someone who is in need of healing?

      1. Christine Gladhill's Avatar Christine Gladhill

        Those counselors because of their beliefs would be incapable of providing the care that the patients in question would be needing anyway. There are better people out there...

        1. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

          You are right, Christine Gladhill, that "There are better people out there..."

          However, as things stand right now, counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists and psychologists are ethically required to refer such clients to other, better qualified therapists. In my experience that doesn't always happen... but it is what is supposed to happen.

          This law will eliminate that requirement. That is a huge problem for the people these professions are supposed to serve.

          1. Christine Gladhill's Avatar Christine Gladhill

            Someone who is emotionally traumatized does not need a counselor who is going to judge and shame them, The toxicity would do more damage than good. I wouldn't trust them to refer me anywhere good either.

    3. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Actually, James Richard Munro, this bill clearly violates the ethics of the counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, and psychology professions. NOT imposing one's personal values is an important value in all of these professions. David George Promis is exactly right about that.

      If you want to impose your religious values on others, don't seen a Counseling degree. Get the much easier to obtain M.Div. and become a minister.

    4. Christine Gladhill's Avatar Christine Gladhill

      Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Faith, hope, and love... Of these the greatest is love. Judge not lest ye be judged. That which you do unto the least of one of mine you do unto me. You may not like somebody's behavior but if yours is less than loving, it is questionable as well. Who's teaching are you really following? As far as these counselors and their prejudices, you would not want them to be your counselor anyway. I would not want a baker who dislikes me to bake my wedding cake and put that negative energy into it and possibly some things that you wouldn't like. I doubt that saying Baker turns away those who are obese under the premise that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins but whatever judge not, right?

  1. Jay Wolf's Avatar Jay Wolf

    You are forcing someone to go against their personal beliefs and morals to serve the LGBTQ+ community. There many out there willing to provide unbiased services to the LBGTQ+ community, why is it necessary to make someone provide service in violation of their beliefs. You are forcing your gender identity upon them. The LGBTQ+ community has made strides in protecting their rights and establishing protections for their beliefs, when for so long they hide in the shadows feeling shame. They are now able to choice to express their beliefs openly, but they now want to take the rights of those that do not feel the same away and force them to hide their beliefs and moral codes. Is it fair? It feels like the pendulum swinging but too far by forcing the LGBTQ+ will upon those who do not want to provide service to them.

    Free will is being revoked and the will of others is being forced upon them.

    I accept that there are 2 genders based on the science of x and y. I also accept that people may not identify with just those 2 genders. You can be gay, straight, bi, or any other thing you want, but it does not mean you have the right to tell others how they must think and serve. It feels like a reverse double standard.

    Let everyone be who they are but don't force your way into making someone provide you service if it violates their beliefs or morals. Walk away and find someone that shares your beliefs.

    Live and let live.

    1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

      Are you really willing to turn someone away in need? There are a lot of rural areas where any type of medical or mental health access is very limited! I just ask that you not lie and call yourself a Christian if you deny helping someone in need…in fact only a coward with weak faith would commit such a selfish and heinous act upon a fellow child of God!

    2. John Condron's Avatar John Condron

      Actually, Jay Wolf, you have it exactly backwards. When one becomes a counselor, social worker, marriage and family therapist or psychologist, one agrees to a particular set of "personal beliefs and morals," as represented by the Code of Ethics of the particular profession. These are covered extensively in at least one 3-credit "ethics" course, and throughout most of the other courses in the curriculum.

      It is ridiculous to claim that "Free will is being revoked and the will of others is being forced upon them." Nobody is forced to become a therapist.

      If you want to be free to force your values on other people, enroll in an M.Div. program and become a minister!

    3. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

      Jay: It’s ethics not fairness. Historically it’s been the LGBT community that have had ideologies forced upon them. Never is it right to force ones fears and indoctrination’s upon others. “Cause no intentional harm to yourself or anyone else” Therapy should help and not label. A true believer does not fear counseling those not like themselves in beliefs.

    4. Garrick William Hale's Avatar Garrick William Hale

      When, for the love of goddess, are folks going to look at the Bible as a book and not sentence based instruction?

      If Christ came to save us all, what are we actually doing making a religion based on him to begin with? Christ said to pray in secret. He also said to pray to the Father. And the kingdom of heaven is within you.

      As a gay man in the south I can tell you hate is certainly alive and aimed directly towards us. To see this as anything other than flat out discrimination is both dangerous and naive to us as a society, regardless of belief. History is repeating itself verbatim and not many fascists seem to care.

    5. Stacey Owens's Avatar Stacey Owens

      Firstt of all, LBGTQ is a curcumcisied people of the flesh and heart. The Christian religion does not necessarlly worship God from the heart, its a religion that seeks God, it does not manifest God. Religion only shows the nature of a man and woman. So when a christian expresses who they are, they are only seeking worship, not God seeking them or the LBGTQ person.

    6. Dr Rohn's Avatar Dr Rohn

      Jay, Thank you for saying what needs to be said! The LGBQetc, perhaps only in my opinion, has become some agenda to swing that pendulum further and further and then hold it from swinging back. I’ve many clients, associates, and friends who live lifestyles outside of the age old straight/gay stereotypical ones, who do not agree with the term let alone the LGBTQ (there’s so many letters at times I want to call it the alphabet soup group) agenda. [I’m sure I’ll get lots of feedback on that one] ANYWAY…

      The real concern here is the reality that laws are being proposed and passed that continue to diminish freedom of choice, expression, speech, basically the freedom to pursue an individuality, career, even happiness. THIS is what should not be happening, no matter the pretense of its application.

      As for therapists “helping” others? This is what they have chosen to do, what they studied to do, what they have a compassion and desire to do. In my world, I help those who I’m able to help, those who come within my circle of influence, ergo who want to be edified and I am able to edify because we have found ourselves in that position. NOT because either of us is forced to be there. Help and edification are one and the same and cannot be achieved or accomplished unless there is at least a certain amount of cohesive energy between all parties.

      So, let all who wish a therapeutic relationship to achieve that without legal intervention. Let healing be spiritual and mutually beneficial without a law dictating it.

      Should therapists be allowed to deny … well if someone comes within that therapist’s circle of influence, very likely it was meant to be, and if they choose not to assist, that’s their loss also, but totally their choice.

  1. Bridget Kielas-Fecyk's Avatar Bridget Kielas-Fecyk

    I already know doctors in ER's who will deliberately walk out and refuse to help a patient, even if that patient is in critical distress, because they refuse to assist LGBTQ+ individuals. This is sickening. I realize that people should be allowed the right to refuse service to someone who doesn't align with their beliefs, however, this does mean the following:

    1) If a person dislikes women, they can outright refuse to serve someone due to the fact they are women. 2) If a female practianer decides that being in the same room as a male alone goes against her beliefs, no matter what religion she follows, she can refuse service to any male patient. 3) If a physician or therapist believes that people who are minorities, i.e. blacks, natives, asians, middle eastern, etc., are "against their religion", they can now refuse to assist those individuals. 4) If a physician, or anyone, believes that someone of a different religion, i.e. the doctor being one religion and the person following another, goes against their views, then no matter what condition the other person is in, they can refuse.

    Tell me, where do we draw the line?

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      I learned something new today Ms. Bridget. When I read your comment I knew you were full of it. I was sure a hospital or a doctor licensed by the state can't refuse services because of sexual orientation any more than they can refuse service to a person because they're black. Then I did a google search. Thanks.

      Sorry Daniel. An ER doctor can refuse services to a patient in many states under the "religious freedom" exception. It doesn't have to be believable to be true, Sir. Apparently current federal law prohibits "discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in all health care programs or activities that receive federal funding." The keywords here being "THAT RECEIVE FEDERAL FUNDING". Many hospitals are for-profit hospitals. If a hospital is owned by a private entity or corporation (like the one in Washington, NC), and refuses the free gubmint cheese, then they can legally refuse LQBTG patients.

    2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Why are you huffing and puffing? Nothing you say is believable. it all boils down to the simple fact that they have they right under the 1st amendment to refuse to deal with anyone that is in violations of their religious beliefs. Are you now saying that an Arab Doctor does not have the right to refuse when his Quranic teachings say that he does? And no nothing you claim is based on fact, just you hyperbolic and making stuff up. But how nice it is to show that this is all you have and it isnt factually nor legally correct.

  1. Rev Wayne Sutton's Avatar Rev Wayne Sutton

    My feelings on this are that churches etc should all modernise themselves to include everyone. This includes Therapists whether Christian or not. I think we were given free will to help us evolve and become better people, no matter what we think or like.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Why? all you are saying is that you should be able to go somewhere or join a church and then demand they change to fit your ideals. And that isnt going to happen.

    2. Dr Rohn's Avatar Dr Rohn

      Are you saying that becoming “moderised” means to be forced by laws to do things we would otherwise not do?

      Are you of the subscription to the mindset that “modernizing” means more governmental control, regulation, oversight based on the popular opinion of the moment?

      I agree, love is what is needed, but one cannot legislate love, compassion, understanding, tolerance, and respect.

      Religion is the teaching of a belief, as humankind becomes more enlightened those teachings would be more useful if they likewise grew in enlightenment. Unfortunately, many remain stagnant and oppressed by the understandings of those who originally organized a particular religion.

      Ergo, the concept of religion’s time has come to a stage of becoming obsolete. It’s time to realize we are not who we think we are, we are powerful Spiritual beings having a physical experience. Jesus lived the true example of this and should you truly believe what he is quoted as saying in the Bible, he did all he could to explain this… “it is not I…” it is not the physical but Spiritual being who does these things.

      Each one of us is that Spiritual being and if possessing but the size of a mustard seed faith that we are, we can love, have compassion, understanding, tolerance, and enlightenment as did Jesus.

      That would be the true path to “evolve and become better people” not acquiesce to modernizing, to being legislatively manipulated.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Again are you saying that you think you can walk into a church and then demand they change their teachings they have used for thousands of years all because you say so and to fit your world view?

  1. Rolando Couce's Avatar Rolando Couce

    WHEN THIS SOCIETY GAVE GAY PEOPLE THE OPURTUNITY AND RIGHTS TO CO EXIST WITH NORMAL PEOPLE WHAT HAPPENED THEY STARTED PUSHING THEIR SEXUAL DEVIANCY ON OUR CHILDREN

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Rolando, 'gay rights,' really just civil rights, didn't start pushing anything on children. However, woke activists have and unfortunately do so using gays and lesbians as their excuse. From what I remember, it was the entire trans and non-binary people who began bringing children into the narrative..

      1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

        Wrong Kester. Y’all are just trying to divide and conquer once again. All the LGBTQ+ have been watching out for young members of the community for a long time now. Most of us knew at an early age we were different.

        The only grooming many of us received was from homophobic parents trying to “tough love” the gay away. Your memory is garbage and is based on faulty data. It was all y’all who were perverting our community and projecting pedo tendencies onto all of us, from the start. Y’all know it’s easier to pick out the most vulnerable amongst us and demonize them. Isn’t it? So you picked out the most racist and prejudiced gays and lesbians, adopted, enabled, and coddled them, and then set them loose on the rest of us. Y’all don’t even know what woke us. You’re too busy denying reality for your fantasy religion.

      2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Robert, your talk about "y'all" is nonsense. And my memory is just fine. I'm gay and remember well how Anita Bryant and fundamentalists used children as their rallying cry. Today's children don't need a damnable, woke liberal coming to their rescue. You are not the white knights you believe yourselves to be. LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE and tend to your own life.

  1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

    Potentially, yea, if they’re some kind of private practice snake oil faith healer. Sure. I guess so. A licensed professional? Hell no. Don’t have empathy for a person due to your hate fueled interpretation of faith? Find a new job.

  1. Kevin Oconnell's Avatar Kevin Oconnell

    Than next it will be your family doctor refusing treatment because you're religious beliefs are different. Does this silly immature philosophy of life ever stop , let's get back talking about Jesus love

  1. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

    Obviously those 'practitioners' don't honor the ethics of the profession. Imagine a lawyer who wouldn't defend you because of their personal beliefs. They would lose their license real quick. A weak point in America is 'therapists' not having to actually be certified by a recognized school of training. In contrast you must have a PhD to call yourself a psychologist, and honor the ethical standards. There are registries people can refer to ensure the practitioner is actually qualified, certified, and insured.

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      Yessir. That would be Section 1.06 (b) of the NASW Ethics:
      (b) Social workers should not take unfair advantage of any professional relationship or exploit others to further their personal, RELIGIOUS, political, or business interests. (Emphases added by me).

      But your disconnect is your error in reading comprehension, Brother.
      "Should RELIGIOUS therapists...." I'm perfectly OK with a RELIGIOUS therapist limiting his services to his RELIGION. I mean after all, if he didn't, he wouldn't be a religious therapist, he'd be a regular therapist right? Now if I go to a commercial therapist who serves the public, like my V.A. therapist, or the place up the street called "Seaside Mental Health" that is not "religious affiliated", and who are NASW or ACA licensed, then yes, they should be required to serve everyone.

      There has to be a separation between religious belief and public services in this country for it to work smoothly. Let me give you an example. A couple of decades ago I went to the church and asked the nice preacher the procedure and scheduling for me and a young lady to be married. During the pre-marriage counseling the preacher asked me causally, "first time you've been married, right?" "No, I was divorced 8 years ago" I replied. The preachers demeanor changed and he said, "Well, I can't marry you." He was of the common Christian biblical position that remarrying is adultery. I didn't go hire an lawyer and try to sue him. I accepted that he has his beliefs, I have mine, our beliefs differ, and I went to another preacher. I can respect his religious viewpoint without agreeing with it.

      The problem I see with the LGBTB community that causes them so much grief and draws them so much hate from others is that they simply can't accept the fact that everyone doesn't cozy up to their beliefs, and everyone has the right to believe as they chose.. And it's OK to have different beliefs.

      I don't do same sex marriages because I'm a Christian minister and it doesn't align with my beliefs. I never will. Even if the government decides I must, I'll go to jail before I'll put my name on a same sex marriage license. I don't hate the two guys or gals, in fact I have several relatives who are gay. I thought more of Uncle Phillip (Uncle Phillis the family all jokingly called him) than I did about anyone else in the family, and I was saddened when he passed away. And cousin Danny is the funniest guy to hang out with. The story about how he and his boyfriend got in a cat fight at work and got fired from the pharmaceutical plant is funner than anything Ron White ever came up with. When he tells the story you can just see the hair-pulling and scratching and biting that went on during the melee. Same way with my cousin Bob the flaming gay attorney. But I won't marry any of them. The LGBTQ lifestyle just doesn't align with my religious beliefs, and I have just as much right to my religious beliefs as they do theirs. There's more than one therapist in the country. He can go find a different one.

      I don't try to "convert" Bob or Danny or Phillis to my beliefs, and they shouldn't try to convert me to theirs. I believe we can all live together within our respective belief systems without agreeing of fighting.

      And I really don't give one damn what the Supreme Court labels as a "right". I followed orders in the military. My honorable discharge is dated 2004. As long as I'm not hurting anyone else, I do what I believe is right, not what the government thinks I should think is right.

      Apparently the NC government agrees with me as NC law now reads" "Every magistrate has the right to recuse from performing all lawful marriages under this Chapter based upon any sincerely held religious objection. Every assistant register of deeds and deputy register of deeds has the right to recuse from issuing all lawful marriage licenses under this Chapter based upon any sincerely held religious objection. No magistrate, assistant register of deeds, or deputy register of deeds may be charged or convicted under G.S. 14‑230 or G.S. 161‑27, or subjected to a disciplinary action, due to a good‑faith recusal under this section."

      If the state can't force it's own employees to perform services to LQBTG, then they certainly can't force a private individual to.

      The State of NC calls religious belief a "right"...same as they call LGQBT a "right". All rights are equal under the law (according to the USSC), and no right has a higher "rank" than another right. And to quote Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        And the 1st Amendment clearly shows that your claim does not amount to a hill of beans and is not legally binding.

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    While I believe a private business has the right to refuse service to anyone, doing so because of "religious freedom" is such a stupid reason. How would these same people feel if a Muslim therapist refused to treat them for "religious freedom?" Or a Pagan baker refused to make a cross shaped cake?

    Basically, these people want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to dictate how others can live their lives without even being able to follow the very same religion they claim to sincerely believe in.

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      "How would these same people feel if a Muslim therapist refused to treat them for "religious freedom?" Or a Pagan baker refused to make a cross shaped cake?"

      Me and my MasterCard would go find a different therapist or baker and help him pay his country club dues. :) A quick search shows 14 bakers in my town. I'd allow him to continue to practice his beliefs, and I'd continue to practice mine. See how easy that solution is?

      1. Chris's Avatar Chris

        And if it really happened that way this wouldn't be an issue. But then, it's only one certain group of people not only refusing service to people they don't like but are also trying to make laws demanding everyone follow their beliefs. They complain about "Cancel Culture" and then ban anything they don't like. At the rate they're going on local, state, and federal levels anyone who doesn't agree with them will have no choice but to go to them or go without.

        At a more immediate timeframe it seems a simple thing to go elsewhere, and I do whenever possible. Therapists are different than bakeries though, because you don't need insurance to go to a bakery. And if my insurance only covers a therapist who refuses to treat me, I'm pretty much screwed.

        Additionally, I'd like to thank you for keeping the conversation at an adult level. :-)

  1. arawngraalrd's Avatar arawngraalrd

    This is rediculous on its face. A therapist should be obliged to refuse any client they feel unready to help.

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    The question should be 'Can a religious therapist effectively council LGBTQIA++ patients without offering religious advice?'.

    The answer depends on the religion. Most religions would offer socially acceptable advice to LGBTQIA++ patients without compromising their beliefs. This includes the religion of atheism.

    If a patient demands a christian therapist then the patient should expect a Christ centered session. If a patient demands a Christian therapist without Christ then the therapist should be and is able to decline the work base on his inability to meet the customer's demands or expectations.

    Of the countless God given rights we possess, the constitution identifies out our right to contract as one of them. The right to contract instantly and automatically implies the right to not contract.

    1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

      Atheism isn’t a religion. It has no god. Denial of god is a philosophy and a belief. It has no rituals. Just one idea. Nothing more. Y’all really need to get that through your skulls.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        And you need to get it through your skull that it already has been ruled a religion under the US Supreme Court.

  1. James Riggle-Johnson's Avatar James Riggle-Johnson

    What sane LGBTQ person would want to go to a therapist who thinks they are an abomination? The problem is what happens when it’s an emergency room doctor that refuses to help an LGBTQ person who’s dying? We are walking on very thin ice here. If you give one doctor the right to not provide services to a group of people, they will all start to refuse service.

    This is a civil rights issue. How long before we have separate drinking fountains labeled “Straight” and “Gay”? I should also point out that the SCOTUS has already ruled it is okay to refuse certain types of services to the LGBTQ community.

    I always believed that religious freedom was about a person’s freedom to worship in whatever way they wanted to, or not at all. Now it’s become a “if you don’t worship my way it’s the highway” sort of thing. This is going to lead us down a dangerous road.

    1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

      Would you want a therapist who would tell you that your choices are wrong and not be supportive?
      To try and compare it to other medical professionals is apples and oranges.
      I personally don’t believe in the gay lifestyle, however in doing EMS I have treated straight, gay, black, white, you name it and ALL are treated equally and with the very same care and compassion for life. I have worked with gay partners on calls and they would tell you I treat everyone the same just as they treat everyone including straight the same.
      Those other professions are about saving lives, not justifying someone’s feelings. Big difference.

      1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

        It's not the same job by a long shot, but therapists do recieve clients who are in critical danger of death by suicide and it's up to them to triage that condition so they can escalate to emergency personnel. A therapist receiving a suicidal client and rejecting them on basis of sexuality or whatever else they have a problem with could actually be sending them off to die. So there is still a high level of responsibility for someone's well-being. Therapists can also save lives.

  1. Stephen Fullerton's Avatar Stephen Fullerton

    They have every right to say "I do not want to treat you."

  1. Steven Ferrell's Avatar Steven Ferrell

    I see a therapist being able to deny someone because of their religious beliefs as a positive. Why would say someone who is say gay, want a therapist who would not be encouraging them in their lifestyle?
    Why would someone who wants to be encouraged in their decision to get a divorce, want a therapist who would not support them in their decision.? I would not want to pay a therapist who was against what I believe. I would feel they are taking my money under false pretenses.
    This will help people save money by using only a therapist who would validate their feelings.

    1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

      I can see the benefit of that, but in order to avoid wasting precious time they should be required to prominently display that they are anti-LGBTQ so that everyone knows it before they make an appointment with them. Then everyone wins!

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Or better said Ari, a sign that says the therapist is pro bible/Jesus. Let the patient decide if they want sound time proven advice or whimsical advice that changes with each manual upgrade.

        1. Ari Joseph Bertine's Avatar Ari Joseph Bertine

          The reason I did not go for that angle is because there are plenty of Christians who are loving and accepting toward LGBTQ people. There are churches that do not treat them differently from anyone else. Therefore, it would be impossible to tell by such a sign whether that therapist was of the loving/accepting type or the hateful/rejecting type. Better that they reveal the hate up front as a warning lest they lure in some unsuspecting client who attends an accepting church and think that "pro-Jesus" means that therapist would treat them with compassion.

  1. Tracee Ellen Anderson's Avatar Tracee Ellen Anderson

    I haven't read all of the comments but...

    I wonder what the APA, ACA, and the other professional organizations (MFT, SW, etc.) have to say about it. There are codes of ethics that govern these professions that professionals have to agree to.

    The counselor is there for the client, not the other way around. It's not about the counselor. Otherwise, the client could just talk to five of their friends and/or family. That's not what counseling is about.

    This sounds like some underhanded, shame-based proselytizing.

    Unbelievable....

  1. David Lee Valdina's Avatar David Lee Valdina

    A lawyer has an ethical obligation to represent a client zealously. If he can't, he must decline taking the case. I see no difference in the issue of a therapist declining to have a client who is a sadist, and likes being that way, if the therapist is too upset by it to be able to give caring help. Respectfully, David Valdina

    1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

      You said it. If a person can't then they can't. Otherwise the patient coul sue the therapist for malpractice.

  1. Gabriella Elizabeth Morse's Avatar Gabriella Elizabeth Morse

    Some therapists and clients don't get along. If they want to drop them, let them help them find someone new that fits their needs. It takes years to find a good counselor already. If they don't agree with a person, or judgemental , they are not likely to help them but take their money and waste their time.

  1. Dennis Chevalier's Avatar Dennis Chevalier

    You're overclouding the issue. It's not about religious exemptions or anything else. The simple business and the person providing a service has a right to refuse service to anyone for any reason period otherwise you're talking about slavery

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      "the person providing a service has a right to refuse service to anyone for any reason"

      I think your understanding of the law is a little shallow, there Sir. "Any reason" is not correct.

      If you don't mind anecdotal evidence, ask WalMart about that $17,000 they paid me (after the lawyer got his 30%) for refusing to allow my service dog in their store (I named the new boat "Thanks Wally" and everyone at the marina loved it. My free boat was quite the talk at the marina tiki bar for a couple months afterwards).

      Ask Mr. ET at the Military Surplus store why they called me after they banned my service dog from their store, begging me to call the DOJ and ask them to "get off his ass" as he put it, after I filed the DOJ complaint, so they wouldn't get the $10,000 fine and wouldn't have to send all their employees to ADA disability training. When I went in there (with service dog) back in December, I see the DOJ required him to post "Service animal welcome" signs on his door and his attitude was much different.

      I'm not sure what the city attorney said to Mr. Roland when he threw me out because "I don't care what the law says, ain't no dogs coming in my restaurant" a few years ago. But when I dragged the mayor out of his meeting Tuesday morning to tell him the WITN news anchor had invited me and my service dog to lunch at Mr. Rolands restaurant on Thursday and the camera crew was also coming, and his town was going to be on the news, Mr. Roland called me that evening and said I was welcome in his restaurant with my dog anytime. I suspect it was something about that business license the town issued Mr. Roland maybe?

      Or ask the Beach Fun store in Atlantic Beach where their manager went when she told me that I could not be in "her" store unless my service dog wore a vest. The "Only Service dogs wearing vests allowed" handwritten sign taped to the front door was gone within hours of me calling the corporate office in South Carolina. When I went in there a few months later seems there was a new manager. And I didn't have any hassle this time.

      "Any reason" is a broad brush and is poor legal advice, Counselor.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        No sorry. Federal law REQUIRES all service dogs to have the Service Dog Vest on. Otherwise you could walk into any business and make the claim that this is a service dog and provide no proof. So the claim you can walk into a business and not have the service dog vest on in not factual.

        Direct from the US DOJ ADA Office in Washington DC, and I quote:

        "Yes, according to the Federal ADA Laws/Regulations your Service Dog is required to be outfitted with a vest or any type of identifying gear. It is also a fact that the Department of Transportation even lists Service Dog identification cards and a Service Dog Vest at the top of their list to show that they are an actual trained Service Dog and as such are covered under the ADA laws to be required to be allowed access to a business".

        And this is what a local Veteran was told when he got an Old English Bulldog as a trained service dog. He brings the dog into the building and nobody says 'boo' about it as Chubby is clearly marked as a Service Dog. We had one Vietnam Vet start to complain and was told bluntly that Chubby is a clearly marked service dog and we would remove HIM from the building long before we would remove chubby. Never heard another word about it.

        1. Lisbeth Kieran Bushey's Avatar Lisbeth Kieran Bushey

          Daniel, I encourage you to read the ADAs website regarding service dog regulations. You are completely incorrect.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Sorry I am COMPLETELY correct and this is even in the books called the "ADAG" that is sent to every place that is asked. The ADAG stands for the Americans With Disabilities Guidlines and goes into complete detail of how parking lots/spaces should be set up, how large doors and bathroom stall should be right down to the millimeter. How far off the floor door latches and so on can be. What classifies as a Service animal and what does not and so on. Heck even the DOJ is clear about this "The Department of Justice published revised final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, contain updated requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (2010 Standards). ALL service dogs must clearly be marked with a vest or tag or have a card issued by an authorized service dog trainer to classify them as much. While you cannot ask if the dog has a vest or a tag on its collar, if no such identifying marks are present then you can ask for the ID card."

            Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA.

            Service Animals Must Be Under Control

            A service animal must be under the control of its handler. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered and have some form of ID (vest etc) that easily identifies the dog as a service animal, unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of tasks.

            Seems I am more correct then you are.

  1. CB's Avatar CB

    Yes, one should be able to retain the right to refuse service to anyone. On the other hand, it might be sensible to look at it on a case by case situation. Each situation has its own unique characteristics. As a minister, the first thing one might think about doing is to pray about the situation.

  1. David George Promis's Avatar David George Promis

    Ethically the answer is no, and as the old adage goes: what would Jesus do? You know the one who preached to all and preached love not bigotry. Do people really believe they might be rejected at the gates of Heaven for helping someone in need?

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      "What would Jesus DID."

      Soddom....Gamorrah.

      You're welcome.

    2. Dennis Chevalier's Avatar Dennis Chevalier

      If you're using ethics, then you're already begrudging them by feeling.You're forced to work with them and therefore not giving your best service.So ethically it is better to refer them to someone who can

  1. Mary Haviland's Avatar Mary Haviland

    I think that id therapist are made to see the freaks, then they should have the right to set their heads straight and make the nonfreaks. Otherwise tmitbsies not so them any good to see freaks if they can not get their heads set in right. So if the freaks wants to to to a psy who has a religious back ground and the freaks knows about it, they they go to the psy knowing what the psy's beliefs are, and they go to get helped, then leave the psy alone and let them do their job. Otherwise don't go their and don't try to tell the psy that you don't have a problem, they do. You are the one going there so obviously you have the problem and if you are a freak. You have. A problem. So go there and get the help you need or go someplace else and shut the hell up.tjey a TR e the professionals in their fields not you. You just want to go there to make trouble and to push your ways into healthy minded people to try to make you seem to be right. And healthy minded so you can continue your crusade is contaminating innocent minds. To make more people freaks like you are. Id you don't like how people treat you, then stop being freaks. Confirm to society's norms and stop trying to make society comformmto you. This is how our society has become so sick and why it is weak and dying. This is the start of comunist thinking in societies. So stop it or leave our society. And fo to where they accept it. Oh wait they're is no place that accepts it. Excepts maybe the zoo. Well stop trying to make our society I to that. Esp if it is not acceptable in other societies. What gives you the right to think you have the right to push your sick ways into the rest of us and ay we are wrong. We are not wrong, you suckles are wrong l, learn it and get the help you need

  1. Dorothy Hawkins's Avatar Dorothy Hawkins

    Perhaps therapists who are driven by their religious beliefs should be sequestered, so they only serve those in their same belief system.

    In other words, don't subject an already heavily harassed population to more stigma. Don't hire therapists whose relgious beliefs triumph over scientific principles - that's a start.

    Supposedly in the United States, there is a separation between church and state.

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      "Perhaps therapists who are driven by their religious beliefs should be sequestered, so they only serve those in their same belief system."

      Isn't refusing LGQBT patients "self-sequestering"? A distinction without a difference, Ma'am.

      About 25 years ago I used to ride to Myrtle Beach Bike Week in May every year. Then many of the Myrtle Beach businesses began closing up that week because there were "too many bikers damaging property and being disorderly" but the real reason was there were too many blacks at bike week. So the blacks boycotted Myrtle Beach Bike Week and started their own "Myrtle Beach Black Bike Week" that was held every year the week after "Myrtle Beach Bike Week".

      The rednecks loved it. The blacks managed to do what the rednecks couldn't ~ ban black people from Myrtle Beach Bike Week. The blacks had literally banned themselves from Myrtle Beach Bike Week. Myrtle Beach Bike Week grew because so many racists loved a black-free week in Myrtle Beach. One vendor who had set up a tent selling biker patches and clothing and baubles on the strand told me "it's like heaven. I haven't seen a all week."

      I believe these therapists will sequester themselves with no help from anyone else. It's pure natural logic.

  1. Merlin's Avatar Merlin

    If the therapist is funded in anyway by government funds, No, they can not refuse.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    I find this to be backwards based on some churches stance on this subject. Don't religious organizations that find LGBTQ+ people objectionable usually cite counseling and therapy because they think it is a mental health "failure"? Didn't they advocate for "conversion" therapy in the past (performed by the church)?

    Idaho legislators are an interesting (for lack of another word) group of people that pass very specific laws, many that they don't bother to enforce.

    Idaho: Chapter 66, Section 3 of Title 18 states “Any unmarried person who shall have sexual intercourse with an unmarried person of the opposite sex shall be deemed guilty of fornication.”

    According to a section within Title 18, Chapter 66 of Idaho Statutes, “A married man who has sexual intercourse with a woman not his wife, an unmarried man who has sexual intercourse with a married woman, a married woman who has sexual intercourse with a man not her husband, and an unmarried woman who has sexual intercourse with a married man, shall be guilty of adultery.”

    Idaho Statutes specify that there is a viable defense for cannibalism: if the action was taken under extreme life-threatening conditions as the only apparent means of survival.

    Abortion in Idaho is illegal from fertilization. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, abortion in Idaho was criminalized by the trigger law which states that a person who performs an abortion may face two to five years of imprisonment.

    It is against the law to live in a dog kennel (or house) unless you're a dog.

    In Idaho Falls, it illegal to ride a motorcycle if you're over 88.

    It's illegal to ride a merry-go-round on a Sunday.

  1. Robin Anne Hannon's Avatar Robin Anne Hannon

    If your faith can't handle someone who is gay, maybe you need to examine said faith. Jesus ministered to taxpayers and street walkers. Follow the example of love and ministry as intended.

    1. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      Jesus MINISTERED to them, he didn't join them, Ma'am. That word "minister" comes from the Latin "ministrare" which means "to serve".

      I'll minister to them too. But I won't officiate their wedding ceremony. I minister to drunks, rapists, thieves, adulterers, liars, meth addicts, wife beaters, etc. because they're the ones who need change the most. Why would I or Jesus minister to a saint? What would that benefit either of us? Ummm Soddom and Gamorrah? Yeah?

      Because you help someone to come to the Lord doesn't mean you condone their past actions. The successful minister spends his efforts on the causes that return the best return on his investment. I get more "bang for my buck" so to speak, by ministering to the methhead living in the woods by Walmart and getting him off drugs than I do ministering to my deacon. Probably the worst thing he's done is drive a few miles faster than the speed limit. I value "big wins" over "little wins" any day.

  1. Robin Anne Hannon's Avatar Robin Anne Hannon

    Father here is my question. Force? What would Jesus do? Didn't he minister to all, including tax collectors and prostitutes?

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Yes he did and he also said "Go and sin no more" or does that little tidbit not enter into your argument?

  1. Carol J VanderMiller's Avatar Carol J VanderMiller

    One thing that sets us apart from other dictortial countries is our 1st Amendment rights. The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual's religious practices.

    Regardless of one's profession, they should be allowed under this right to accept or deny what aligns with that belief. While those outside of that persons faith or belief system do not believe like that person, each of them has a right to act according to their own belief.

    Otherwise one is imposing their belief upon another which means that one is taking away from that other person & not allowing their right to believe as they choose.

    In doing this one is acting upon another by bullying. Each should respect the other.

  1. Scott Smith's Avatar Scott Smith

    Yes, it is a good idea. In this way LGBTQ+ people will know which professionals to avoid.

  1. Martin L Stigleman's Avatar Martin L Stigleman

    U.S. Law provides protection from discrimination based on race, creed, religion, disability, sex, or sexual orientation. Anyone who obtains a license for business from the Government, should be restricted from discrimination. If you are a PUBLIC BUSINESS, then discrimination laws should apply to you. If you want to practice your religious beliefs, that's fine but this would be no different than refusing to serve a black person in a restaurant or not hiring someone because they are a woman. Discrimination has always been based on beliefs..why should it be different because this is about gays instead of blacks, women, dwarfs, Irish, Asian, Pagan, Jewish, Native American, or Latino?

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Sorry but sexual orientation is not listed as a protected group and as of 5:45pm 3/8/2024 it still is not listed at the DOJ.

      1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

        As a federal law, Title VII applies nationwide and protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity regardless of state or local laws. Wrong again, Gray. Try using google without a bias.

  1. Michael Burton's Avatar Michael Burton

    Why would anyone want to go to a therapist who shows demonstrates stupidity? Now should this be in law, no because it only strenghtens stupidity. Bottom line; if I need therapy ,I would seek someone who has an open mind/

  1. Reverend Andrew's Avatar Reverend Andrew

    Let me answer this with another question ? Can a LGBTQ+ individuals refuse to service Straight People? Can a caucasian person refuse service to a person of color? If I am of the Pagan Faith can I refuse Christians ?

    1. Dennis Chevalier's Avatar Dennis Chevalier

      Yes, you can, however, you simply don't tell them that reason.Mine usually is that my schedule is too full and I refer them to someone else

  1. Iden Charles Siegbert Hill's Avatar Iden Charles Siegbert Hill

    To any and all who would deem to consider themselves a minister of the Universal Life Church and condone refusing counsel to someone who does not share their beliefs, I dare say Jesus does not share yours: Matthew 16:23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

  1. Lisa Neva Milakovich's Avatar Lisa Neva Milakovich

    I am a therapist and I don't discriminate between any faith. I know that there are a lot of clients in my area who would rather have a Christian therapist. I personally don't bring religion into the conversation at all unless they ask. I've had clients who never bring their faith into the conversation. I has one client who transferred to another therapist because I'm not a Christian, but she eventually asked to be transferred back to me. It just shouldn't matter who people. I've had a couple of clients who were murderers, I accepted them as I would anyone.

  1. Rev. BH's Avatar Rev. BH

    A Religious Therapist is an oxymoron. A contradiction of terms.

  1. Ty Ford's Avatar Ty Ford

    This question has been created as click bait. I really object to being manipulated by click bait. This is not the first time this site has resorted to this. If you feel the need to get more traffic, this is NOT the way to do it. What are you, twelve years old?

    1. Dorothy Hawkins's Avatar Dorothy Hawkins

      If it's being discussed seriously as a possible LAW by a state legislature, it's not being created by this site.

    2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Ty, I disagree with you. I enjoy these articles and the questions which they ask us to consider and discuss on a wide variety of topics. I've learned so much from our fellow ministers. And the research we do to respond to the articles as well as our fellow clergy is good for us. Having our beliefs and preconceptions challenged is healthy. More than once, I've been well served by members who showed me that I hadn't thought something completely through. I hope you well reflect a little more and change your mind.

    3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      In light of numerous US Supreme Court decisions that allow this, it seems that you are the one wanting to get clicks and seemingly have more problems then a therapist can help with. So what you are saying is that a Minority Therapist should not have the right to refuse to deal with a racist? And if you are refused treatment and then you file a lawsuit (and you know this is coming) then how would you equate this to the Little Sisters of the Poor or the cake baker or the flower arranger decisions? You cant. So there is no reason for you to get upset. And there is no law that say any medical doctor or therapist has to accept you as a patient, in fact if you want to come to the great lakes area I can introduce you to hundreds of professionals who have refused service to people.

    4. Dr Rohn's Avatar Dr Rohn

      Ty Ford

      Interesting term, “Clickbait,“

      I smiled at the concept of what you’re saying. Interesting concept also.

      Not sure that that’s even relevant, as open discussion between individuals is both edifying and entertaining.

      I’m sure some come here for both, some for one out the other. Some come just to bitch.

      Why did you come?

      Let it be!

    5. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX's Avatar XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

      "Click bait"?

      Then don't click it! I probably wouldn't post on the world wide interwebs that I was suckered by click bait, but that's just me.

      "You don't always have to ask who the sucker in the room is. Sometimes they raise their hand." ~ Charles Ponzi

  1. Richard Michael Salvatore's Avatar Richard Michael Salvatore

    Yes!

  1. Father Frederick's Avatar Father Frederick

    Yes, it is click-bait to a point, using the mob as ammunition. As others have eluded to, there is concern with the question of refusal of LGBTQ+ patients on religious grounds. But if I as clergy are forced by the mob to do something which I object to as clergy, then do I have the right to force them to do something which is against their views? And, to what level? The question carries with it the hint that I could be forced if I do not agree, rather than the person walking away from me and seeking someone who does agree. So does this mean by me being forced, then I have the right to assemble people to a cause and force them to do my bidding.

    This is like a previous discussion we had where I was forced to address someone by their "pronouns". But if I asked to be addressed by my pronouns or names, the person had the right to object without accountability. Since when can we have it one way when addressing the clergy, yet we violently reject to be addressed in the same manner? And all the while using religion as our excuse and shield for culpability.

    1. Dr Rohn's Avatar Dr Rohn

      Father Frederick

      Anytime force is initiated I cringe.

      The “mob“ as you call them, unfortunately, are pushing legislature and don’t even realize that they are pushing themselves also.

      The oligarchy who runs everything, including the government, also want to run you. They do so by allowing the “mob“ to insight others into the belief that ordinances, laws, dictates, and other legislature is needed for our best interest. When, in actuality, it is a slow, but continuous erosion of freedom and an evolution into totalitarianism.

      By the time the “mob” realizes this, it will be too late.

      Hang in there, do as you are moved to do that is the most useful given the situation as you are involved in it. Stand up against oppression, against governmental oversight in everything of our lives, and against those who wish to harm you, your neighbors, your environment, your love.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    No.

  1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

    If they’re Christian, no. If they’re anti-Christian or worship at the feet of POTUS 45, the anti-Christian, yes.

  1. RAYMOND BENITEZ's Avatar RAYMOND BENITEZ

    Employers should be aware of applicable federal and state laws to avoid sexual orientation or gender identity-based discrimination claims. It is the responsibility of an employer to take proactive measures to prevent, investigate, address, and defend any possible claims of sexual orientation discrimination. If it is determined that unlawful discrimination occurred, companies and their administrators may be subject to statutory penalties or ordered to take affirmative action to remedy the discrimination. (DIFFERENCE) Now organization with By laws or rules. The reason for having rules in the first place is so that you and your fellow group members can mutually agree on governance (that is, who your leaders are, how you choose them, when you have your meetings, and so forth), procedures for arriving at group decisions, and policy covering the details of administration for your organization. (church) In ‘being with’ people – as against ‘doing for’ people – together we find solutions and make progress because we are all made in the image of God. We are called to share love in a too often loveless world. ‘Love God, Love Others’ inspires every aspect of our work. My Thoughts.

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    Using the specious "against my religion" argument simply provides a shield behind which such persons high their prejudices. In none of these cases have any specific instances of HOW providing services to certain groups has inhibited anyone's religious practices been demonstrated. Jesus ministered to the marginalized of his era. So those who argue that it's "against their religion" to serve the "marginalized of this era" are not following Jesus' example?

    What happened to "love the sinner, hate the sin?" For those purported Christian who profess to believe that those they refuse to serve are on religious grounds, how then do they explain when Jesus helped a whore he wasn't by that action endorsing prostitution?

    What He taught is what you can't cure or change in someone, you show empathy toward and provide comfort to. It's pretty arrogant when these hypocrites place themselves in the stead of the Almighty as judge and jury and shun their fellow human beings because they find something about them "distasteful", alleging that they're acting in accordance with the Divine Will when they do so.

    Jesus wouldn't have done that.

  1. Gail A. Miller's Avatar Gail A. Miller

    All people are God's children and we should try to be kind to everyone. That said, no one works best when being forced to or having to conform to society's current culture. And just like the Christian baker who was sued and forced or be fined to bake a cake for a same sex wedding, who in their right mind would want or even TRUST someone to bake a cake (or receive help with mental issues) by someone being forced? Just because we are called to love one another, I don't remember anywhere in the Bible where God or Jesus commands us to cater to the unnatural whims of society.

  1. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

    I wouldn’t want the rapist to treat me for anything! LOL 🤪

  1. Carol M. Anaski-Figurski's Avatar Carol M. Anaski-Figurski

    interesting topic. I am going to say No because All are welcome regardless of faith, creed, gender, race & immigrant status. You can how ever if a licensed psychotherapist is needed for expert MH Care then refer to the speciality.

  1. DianaF's Avatar DianaF

    First of all, any LGBTQ+ person that willingly goes to a "religious" therapist is an idiot. The relationship must have trust. How can you trust a "religious" therapist if you're LGBTQ+? The bill has merit if only because it will "out" religious bigots and give us a list of who to avoid. But it's CLEARLY another attack on the community.

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    I think if a therapist is not equipped to help the patient in question then yes, it would be wiser for them to refer that patient to someone else who is. Some specialize in certain issues and sometimes run across issues they are just not well versed in so I think it should be acceptable. I mean I sure as hell wouldn't want to see an allergist if I need surgery... kind of the same deal. People should understand that if you are seeing a therapist that doesn't seem to understand the issue then finding a different therapist should be an option.

  1. Grzzle77's Avatar Grzzle77

    If we are chosen by someone in need to listen, offer guidance when requested, and provide assistance that is conducive to positively living one's life then we should do so with an open mind, heart, and soul. Our differences may keep us apart but it's our humanity that should drive us together to assist one another in times of sorrow, frustration, and despair. More opportunities are needed for all to have someone to listen and be present without judgment. Sometimes having a listening ear is needed more to avoid destructive moments.

  1. James Richard Munro's Avatar James Richard Munro

    If you're thinking about going to a therapist, you must think you have a problem. Thats why your seeking help. LBGTQ people dint think they have a problem. They are under the delusion that everybody else (Stright People) are the problem. Again, if you don't think you have a problem, don't waste the time of the therapist. The LGBTQ people live in a delusional world. Sane people are not going to play your game. Enough is enough.

    1. oy_gevalt's Avatar oy_gevalt

      So, to your line of thinking, gay people are insane?

  1. Reverend Andrew's Avatar Reverend Andrew

    So let me as this what if the young man or woman that is seeking help and the only place to get help is by someone of faith and wont see them because that are lgbtq and that person end up killing themselves or someone else because that could not get the help they needed then can we then put the therapist on trial for murder because their faith said I don't have to help this person ?

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