Call to Arms: Oppose SB2615 (Ban on sexual orientation conversion therapy)

Please note that the text of this bill is currently identical to the House version.  It is a separate vehicle that is being heard by the Senate, not the House.

Synopsis: SB2615 uses vague language to describe what a “licensed therapist” and what “sexual orientation conversion therapy” mean.  Previous attempts to ban the treatment have included any attempts to counsel a sexually-confused individual toward a heterosexual orientation — even if it is the therapeutically correct thing to do.  Because of the broad language, this can have grave implications on:

  • Clergy, acting in their capacity as religious and spiritual advisors.  [1]
  • Teachers, especially those in parochial schools.  [2]

SB2615 (and HB2179) appear to be cloaked attempts of liberal Democrats to dictate theology to people of faith.  Since church/state bars the government dictating doctrine to people of faith, liberal Democrats are inventing other ways to steamroll their agenda into the faith-based community.

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

Who: Senate Committee on Education
Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health
What: Hearing on SB2615 (Ban on sexual-orientation conversion therapy)
When: February 12th, 2016 at 12:30PM
Where: State Capitol, Room 229
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.

[2] Parochial school teachers operate differently from public school teachers and often act in several capacities.  A social studies teacher might also be a volleyball coach.  A math teacher who might also be a life coach (of sorts) to troubled students would also fall under the category and could not counsel on sexual orientation.