Call to Arms: Oppose HB1675 (Ban on sexual-orientation conversion therapy)

Synopsis: HB1675 proposes a ban on sexual (orientation) conversion therapy.  Previous versions of the ban would have made it illegal for a therapist to counsel a sexually-confused individual toward a heterosexual orientation.  “Licensed therapist” can be construed to include therapy provided by clergy in their professional capacity. [1]  Under this interpretation, clergy would be forbidden to offer spiritual and religious counsel to an individual in a manner that is consistent with their faith.

Recommended position: Oppose, the broad definition of licensed therapist would include clergy and could force counsel/therapy in a manner that is contradictory to their religion or faith.

Who: House Committee on Health
What: Hearing on HB1675 (Ban on sexual-orientation conversion therapy)
When: February 10th, 2016 at 10:00AM
Where: State Capitol, Room 329
Why: The suggested ban on sexual orientation conversion therapy can be interpreted to include clergy, and would prohibit an individual from being counseled in a way that is consistent with their faith.  This is an unnecessary intrusion into our freedom of religion, and a gross violation of church/state separation.
How: (a) In-person: In addition to your in-person testimony, be sure to submit written testimony. See the information below for information on parking.
(b) Written testimony: Written testimony can be submitted using the Capitol website. Written testimony must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the hearing to be ensure consideration by committee members. Late testimony will be accepted and entered into the record, but may not receive consideration due to time constraints.

Parking: Limited metered public parking is available in the basement garage of the State Capitol. On busy days (such as this), those stalls will likely be occupied. Do not park in reserved parking stalls! The parking structure in Ali’i Place (entrance on Alakea Street) is often more convenient. While the parking is not free, it is much more convenient than the congested parking garage underneath the Capitol. For those who are able to, the most convenient and reliable transportation option to the State Capitol is the bus.

[1] Clergy are therapists in their capacity as a spiritual leader, and many of them have formalized training (such as a Doctorate of Divinity) that can be easily construed as a license.  This “licensed therapist” loophole is something that liberals would use to dictate what religions can and cannot believe in.  They attempted something similar with same-sex marriage by trying to classify places of worship as public accommodations – and to this effect would have to host same-sex marriages.