Regulatory Ban on Conversion Therapy
I write to oppose the adoption of any regulation that would prevent licensed therapists from engaging in so-called "conversion therapy." Parents, who know their children best and, under Virginia law, have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding their upbringing, education and care, are in the best position to make healthcare decisions involving the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of their children. Some young people may have attractions they desire to change or moderate. Others may simply desire counseling to live a chaste life. In either instance, there should be options for families to make informed decisions. A ban would deny families the religious freedom to seek counseling aligned with their faith. The State should not impinge on parental rights and religious freedom by prohibiting "conversion therapy," certainly not via a regulation where the policy could not garner majority support in the legislature.