Anti-conversion therapy law tramples free speech rights

With the turning of a page of the calendar to a new year comes a host of new laws on the books in Nevada, among them is a law banning therapists from engaging in something dubbed conversion therapy.

The new law makes it illegal for any psychotherapist in Nevada to provide conversion therapy to anyone under the age of 18. That is defined as “any practice or treatment that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person.”

This therapy is barred “regardless of the willingness of the person or his or her parent or legal guardian to authorize such therapy.” The bill description justifies this usurpation of individual and parental rights by claiming the practice is ineffective and potentially harmful.

What is therapy? It is speech.

The bill specifically prohibits a professional health care provider from talking to an underage patient about whether their gender confusion is real or not, but just as specifically allows support or confirmation for “a person undergoing gender transition …” or provides “acceptance, support and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s ability to cope, social support and identity exploration and development …”

One may not discourage a patient’s gender feelings but may encourage. Thus only speech that contains the government-approved content is permitted.

The courts have repeatedly ruled that laws that limit speech based solely on its content violates the First Amendment.

In a recent article, Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, reported that she had a male patient who between the ages of 3 and 5 increasingly played with “girl toys” and said he was a girl. She referred the parents and the boy to a therapist, who discovered that the boy had a younger special needs sister who required a significant amount of attention from her parents. The boy perceived that his parents preferred girls and thus he would become one.

“With family therapy Andy got better,” Cretella wrote.

In Nevada, that therapist now could have his or her license revoked for engaging in conversion therapy.

Presumably under this law, a therapist could be punished for telling a patient that 80 to 95 percent of all children who express feelings of gender dysphoria abandon those feelings upon maturity and that more than 80 percent of youth claiming to experience same-sex attractions in late childhood and adolescence identified themselves as exclusively heterosexual upon becoming adults.

Would telling a minor to wait and let nature take its course violate the law?

In the waning days of the 2017 legislative session the bill that is now law was amended in an attempt to protect religious counselors from being punished under the law, but it is a contortion that adds only confusion.

That amendment stated “there is nothing in this bill that regulates or prohibits licensed health care professionals from engaging in expressive speech or religious counseling with such children if the licensed health care professionals: (1) are acting in their pastoral or religious capacity as members of the clergy or as religious counselors; and (2) do not hold themselves out as operating pursuant to their professional licenses when so acting in their pastoral or religious capacity.”

So, which hat is the professional licensee wearing when talking to a child about gender? The pastor hat or the doctor hat?

Unfortunately, the federal circuit courts have rejected arguments that a similar California law violates both the free exercise of religion and free speech aspects of the First Amendment and the Supreme Court has thus far declined to hear appeals.

Now that the law is on the books in Nevada and livelihoods are in jeopardy, someone should take another stab at challenging the constitutionality of this law in court. — TM

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  1. Dale W Green says:

    It “is (free) speech”? Really? Here is what I believe: (You may not. Welcome to the USA where you have the right to believe what you want …but spreading sickness is not a right )

    This is a perfect example of the perversion of the principals and rights that came down from the Founding Fathers… principals and rights that were justified and inspired by God. God did not inspire anyone to take those principals and pervert them. To believe there is a right to self-proclaim authority over gender by self-identification, This is a deception. If meant to be male, you were born male. If meant to be female, you came into this world as a female. It is not up to us to make that decision. Satan’s goal is to disrupt and destroy humanity which is with a hate older than commonly known history. Evil overwhelms through hate and confusion seeking order and complete control out of chaos. Satan vowed to do facilitate this destruction by whatever means he deemed fit. As a “Master of Deception” and put at the helm of this world over a humanity by God’s authority, the plan is to to cultivate the God loving, the faithful, the honorable, the strong by the most difficult of tests in the walk of life. To resist such thoughts that you are the god of you. That is satan’s sermon and so many are buying-into-it in these end-times. If researched, you will find that there has been a slow infiltration of this nation. It began “hidden in plain site” most intensely after the JFK assassination. That infiltration was a slow methodical absorption of the Democratic Party by Marxism. It has reached full maturity today. Marx openly proclaimed Lucifer as god (you can find where he did in quotes). Look around you. Look at these people who say up is down, left is right, in is out and it is ok to determine your own gender and many other sick conclusions regarding life and humanity. They are begging to be enslaved and for the world to be under one rule and speak of a utopian existence where everyone is equal and droned. My belief is that Satan has their tongue, their mind. They are engaging in their own process of elimination from eternity in a good place in exchange for the “Express Lane” to a bad place. These are indeed end-times. Have a look at the Revelations. Have a look out your window. Might consider checking the attitudes around your house too. Just sayin’ It’s my own belief. Carry on… rationally please ~ Blessings to you in all cases

  2. Another Ammon says:

    Well said Dale. And ‘courageously’ too.

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