Please consider carefully how state imposed restrictions on a couselor might open the door to other avenues of restrictions on other professions. We enjoy tremendous freedom here in the Commonwealth, freedoms that have existed since the Founding Fathers recognized the need to both fight for and codify these rights to protect them for the future of this great state. I quote Congressman Morgan Griffith's most recent newsletter:
"In last week’s column, I referred to the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom that inspired the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty. The statute’s author, Thomas Jefferson, wrote that it was meant to protect “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan” (as many people in his time referred to Muslims).
Those protections still stand today, and they should guide not just our legal obligations but our moral conduct toward one another. All who respect the law and their neighbors should be free to live in peace while practicing whatever faith they have."
Many trained professionals operate wihin the framework of the First Amendment and offer counseling services. Denying the very faith that is guaranteed by the First Amendement by compelling individuals to counsel contrary to that which they hold as both a deep and sincere belief, whether Jew or Gentile, Christian or Muslim, is unconstitutional and unacceptable for all, whether counseling by faith, or no faith at all.