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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Health Professions
Guidance Document Change: Consistent with the established position of the NASW, the Board considers “conversion therapy” or “sexual orientation change efforts” to be services that have the potential to be a danger to clients, especially minors. Thus, under regulations governing practitioners licensed or registered by the Board, practicing conversion therapy/sexual orientation change efforts with minors could result in a finding of misconduct and disciplinary action against the licensee or registrant.
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5/2/19  6:36 pm
Commenter: Dr. Robert Downing

Oppose the proposed “Guidance Document on the Practice of Conversion Therapy (125-9)”
 

I oppose the proposed legislation based on the following:

  1. It denies services DESIRED by PATIENTS.

Children and youth with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion NEED Biologically Affirming Counseling that can help them potentially avoid permanent medical mutilation and sterilization, depression, and even suicide caused by maltreatment.

  1. It usurps PARENTAL RIGHTS.

The Code of Virginia affirms parents’ “fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.” The new guidance would pave the way for court-ordered child abuse!

  1. It VIOLATES social worker free speech and potentially LIFE-SAVING PRACTICES.

Again, the health and wellbeing of the child or youth would be endangered by a blanket ban on helpful counseling NEEDED by a counselor’s patient. Today’s Biologically Affirming Counseling is NOT “shock therapy” or any other outdated mode of treatment. The best science available proves gender identification and same-sex attraction are NOT IMMUTABLE and treating patients using false data is not just negligent, it’s potentially life-threatening!

  1. It contradicts the U.S. Constitution, Virginia Statutes, and will of Virginians and their elected representatives in the General Assembly.