Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
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4/12/19  4:50 pm
Commenter: Gary May

Conversion Therapy

Banning conversion therapy is a violation of religious rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution.  The Catechesim of the Catholic Church confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.  It stresses the importance of the family and provides concrete responsibilities of it's members.  The Catechism states in paragragh 2204, “The Christian family constitutes a specific revelation and realization of ecclesial communion, and for this reason it can and should be called a domestic church.”

The Catechism goes on to stress in paragragh, 2209 "The family must be helped and defended by appropriate social measures. Where families cannot fulfill their responsibilities, other social bodies have the duty of helping them and of supporting the institution of the family. Following the principle of subsidiarity, larger communities should take care not to usurp the family’s prerogatives or interfere in its life." 

Our Catholic Faith stresses in paragragh 2211, "The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:

— the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family’s own moral and religious convictions;

— the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;

— the freedom to profess one’s faith, to hand it on, and raise one’s children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;

The Catholic Faith is very clear in the roles and responsibilities of parents with respect to their children.  It states specifically in paragraghs:

2223, "Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule."

2225 "Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children."

2228 "Parents’ respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom."

Banning conversion therapy denies parents of this vital treatment, rehabilitation, and institution upon which they may rely to train, treat, and raise children in the faith and fulfill their roles as instructed by their faith.  In accordance with the doctrine of the Catholic Church, as instructed by our Catechism, I urge the Board of Counseling to reject 115-10.



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