Please help us now to stop the State of Utah from passing a rule that would ban legitimate and necessary talk therapy when therapists are counseling with children under 18 who are questioning their gender or sexual orientation.
Sign the attached petition and ask the Licensing Boards to Protect All Teens by rejecting the language proposed by the Board of Psychologists and find new language that protects client self-determination of all teens and their families. https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ask-dopl-to-protect-all-utah-teens
The proposed rule is based on the premise that ordinary ethical conversational therapy that is open to change in sexual attractions or gender perceptions is harmful to minors.
In the 2019 legislative session there was a bill to ban conversion therapy. The question was, what is the definition of conversion therapy? This legislation stated,” Conversion Therapy means:
This proposed language that would have infringe on the rights of parents, children and professional therapists by allowing only gay affirming help with same sex attraction or affirming the gender identity being questioned. A therapist could have validated a homosexual lifestyle but could not suggest other options. Parents looking for help for their questioning child would not have any place to go for help.
THIS BILL DID NOT PASS THE LEGISLATURE. BUT THE UTAH MENTAL HEALTH LICENSING BOARD HAS PROPOSED A CHANGE TO THEIR RULE THAT WOULD BAN CONVERSION THERAPY, INCLUDING TALK THERAPY. THIS RULE CHANGE WILL HAVE THE SAME END EFFECT AS THE LAW THAT WAS REJECTED BY THE LEGISLATURE. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER WAY TO GET AROUND THE LEGISLATURE AND BAN TALK THERAPY FOR QUESTIONING LGBTQ YOUTH.
If this proposed rule is adopted it will have the same effect as the law they tried to pass in the legislature and would violate:
Children struggling with their gender identity or sexuality need to be able to talk to a professional counselor who will give them honest answers to their questions and parents need to be able to trust that these therapists will do what is best for their child and not be controlled by unreasonable and biased laws that violate their constitutional rights.
Your help is needed ASAP. Please do the following 3 things:
From David Pruden:
1. The proposed rule is unnecessarily vague and open to administrative abuse.
For example, what constitutes therapy that is “neutral with respect to the sexual orientation . . . of the individual.” (The question is not whether the therapist is neutral; it is whether the therapy—the “methods, practices, procedures, or techniques”—is neutral.) What constitutes “neutral” therapy most probably will depend on the “worldview” regarding same-sex attractions or sexual orientation held by whoever decides what the term “neutral” means.
Imagine that a psychologist is working with an adolescent who is experiencing gender confusion and is thinking seriously about whether he wants to undergo gender “change” procedures. In the course of their discussions, the psychologist should address with the minor client (and his parents) the emotional and psychological risks and hazards of “gender change” procedures. Further, the psychologist should advise the minor client and his parents that they will need to discuss the medical and physical risks of chemical, hormonal, or surgical “gender change” procedures—which are many and serious, and often with permanent and irreversible effects—with a competent physician. However, such discussions in a therapeutic context may well be regarded as having the “goal” of changing the minor client’s “gender identity.”
Assume a situation in which a 10-year-old male tells his parents that he thinks he really should have been born as a girl, and wants to change his gender. The parents then take the boy to a therapist (who does not take a transgender/gender-change-affirming approach) to help him address his feelings and confusion. Under the proposed rule, addressing the feelings, emotions, or expressions related to the boy’s perceived gender “identity” would put the therapist at risk, because it might result in a change in those feelings, and thus potentially be regarded as having the “goal” of changing the boy’s “gender identity.” To remain safe, the therapist could only “reduce” the young boy’s “internalized stigma,” provide “acceptance [and] support,” facilitate his “active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development,” and assist him in “undergoing gender transition.”
2. The proposed rule threatens a therapist with loss of their license (and their livelihood) if they violate the “sexual orientation change efforts or gender identity change efforts” provision if they are working with any number of common adolescent sexual concerns.
The likely practical result of the proposed rule would be to:
3. The proposed rule is based on the premise that ordinary ethical conversational therapy that is open to change in sexual attractions or gender perceptions is harmful to minors because it does not work and cannot work.
The proposed rule is grounded in a misunderstanding or mischaracterization of what actually does—and does not—happen in counseling by an ethical, competent therapist who uses an approach that is open to change. Ethical and competent therapy does not involve physically aversive techniques (such as electroshocking genitals or inducing vomiting). No licensed therapist in Utah has used such techniques for decades, as the proposed rule’s supporters concede. Nor does ethical and competent therapy involve verbally abusive techniques such as bullying, intimidation, shaming, or humiliation. Contrary to the impression the activists who support the proposed rule want people to have, the proposed rule is not directed either exclusively or even primarily at physically aversive practices.
4. The proposed rule, in its operation, would not be neutral toward religion.
It is based on an implicit hostility to the religious principles of clients (of all religious backgrounds) who seek therapy to address unwanted same-sex attractions or to resolve gender dysphoria, and would make it more difficult for those clients to obtain professional assistance in living according to their faith and religious convictions. The proposed rule further would exert forceful legal pressure on therapists of faith to either provide therapy that is contrary to their religious convictions or to remain silent. The proposed rule could be regarded as neutral only if the State could demonstrate as a matter of scientific fact that same-sex attractions (or gender perception or gender confusion contrary to physiology) are immutable. The proposed rule implicitly presupposes the illegitimacy of religious beliefs that do not accept that proposition, that view same-sex sexual activity as immoral, or that reject transgenderism or gender-change procedures.
By Steven Done
Equality Utah and others are pushing to enact a broad ban on any therapies they refer to as "conversion therapy". The practical effect of this ban would be to prevent teens from receiving ethical therapies aimed at helping them live according to their deeply-held religious beliefs.
“Conversion therapy” is a term coined by political activists that is intentionally unclear. Ethical, licensed psychotherapists respect the right of clients to choose the goals of their therapy and help them work through emotional and relational issues that may influence these life circumstances. It is both dishonest and unfair to label these ethical mental health professionals as “conversion therapists”.
Equality Utah defines "conversion therapy" as "the practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity". The legislation they introduced in the Utah State Legislature defined it even more broadly:
"Conversion therapy" means any practice or treatment that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient or client, including mental health therapy that seeks to change, eliminate, or reduce behaviors, expressions, attractions, or feelings related to a patient or client's sexual orientation or gender identity.The proposed rule currently before Utah's Division of Occupational and Professional licensing closely mirrors the effect of the original legislation.
Under this definition, "conversion therapy" is any therapy with the goal of change - no matter the approach.
Remember: change is the goal of any therapy for any unwanted feelings. Therapy, by its very nature, for any purpose, has a goal of changing behaviors, feelings and expressions. Indeed, what would be the purpose of going to a licensed therapist for help if not to hope for some change, at a minimum, in behaviors?
It's time for society to push aside the propaganda.
Equality Utah and other lobbying groups are playing a careful game of word chess to attack ethical, positive therapies for unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity conflicts. They do so in a few ways:
But the truth is, ethical therapists work to help their clients accomplish their chosen goals using standard techniques used for any unwanted behaviors or feelings, such as EMDR and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. They don't engage in aversive techniques. They don't guarantee change, even if that is the client's goal, just as they don't with any other unwanted behaviors or feelings. But they do help the client with their desired goal. They help their client think about attractions in different ways, heal wounds and rebuild relationships, reprocess old traumas to reduce their power, and overcome shame. This therapy approach is not shaming, coercive, or dangerous. Yet it still falls under the definition of "conversion therapy" proposed by Equality Utah and would be outlawed under the current proposed rule.
My therapist was instrumental to my healing. My attractions used to bring me a lot of shame, and they used to be a very powerful force in my life. I frequently thought of my "attractions" as a single thing that was exclusively related to sex, and as a result I deliberately avoided touching other men or looking them in the eye. The therapy I received from my licensed therapist focused on thinking about attractions in different ways, and on reducing the shame I felt. My therapist helped me see that most of what I was experiencing had nothing to do with sex. He helped me see that my desire for hugs from another man was a need for confirmation that I am valued by other men. I began to understand that intense feelings when looking other men in the eye were there because I had avoided it for so long, and because being seen by another person is a powerful experience. I came to understand that spending time with other men is a need that all men have. In other words, much of what I experience can be interpreted as intense desires for friendship and a deep, unfulfilled need for confirmation that I have value. I believe the eroticization came because I had denied myself true friendship for so long and because of the false stories I had in my head about the desires for friendship that I had. Not only did this approach greatly reduce the shame I felt, but it eliminated entirely my suicidal thoughts.
Ethical therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions and gender dysphoria is simply that - good, ethical, safe therapy. Equality Utah's definition of "conversion therapy" and the associated stories are straw men set up to distract from this fact. It is just like any other therapy for any other unwanted feelings or behaviors. It is not dangerous or shame-inducing. Indeed, it saved me and others I know from suicide. Had I not had the ability to set my own goals in therapy, I likely would have killed myself. Please help protect all teens by asking the licensing boards and the governor to keep all goals for therapy on the table.
Take a first step by signing this petition. You can find out about additional ways to help at ProtectAllTeens.com.
National Eagle Forum Capitol Hill Report
August 29, 2019
So far, in the House of Representatives, the 116th Congress has been a term of extending freedoms to some at the expense of others. We’ve seen bills, committee hearings, and floor speeches promulgating the Left’s talking-point demanding that our laws affirm a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), H.R. 1585, was one of the House’s first successful attempts at including SOGI language in a piece of legislation. SOGI language in VAWA has been interpreted to allow biological males who identify as a woman to enter into biologically female only places, not only violating the privacy, but also sometimes the safety of women seeking shelter.
On top of this, the House’s passage of the Equality Act, H.R. 5, has also been celebrated by liberals and main-stream culture. Proponents of this legislation believe it is a landmark win for the LGBTQ community that gives them the protections from discrimination they deserve by making SOGI protected classes under federal civil rights laws.
Most recently, the House unanimously passed the PRIDE Act, which allows same-sex couples to receive tax benefits that were previously awarded only to traditionally married couples, a husband and wife, by nullifying the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It does so by modifying the tax code to allow same-sex couples to receive retroactive tax refunds from years prior to the 2013 Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA in U.S. v. Windsor.
These three pieces of legislation are dangerous because they undermine the United States Constitution. Our Constitution already grants all people equality under the law, especially through the 14th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972. Furthermore, by not including any conscience protections in VAWA and the Equality Act, and providing retroactive benefits in the PRIDE Act, all three pieces of legislation extend special protections and privileges for only LGBTQ people at the detriment of Americans who oppose their lifestyle, like Jack Phillips, the owner of a bakery repeatedly targeted for his refusal to bend his conscience and the Downtown Hope Center, which refused to allow a transgender female into their women’s only shelter.
It is more important than ever to continue telling Washington, especially the Senate who has yet to vote on these pieces of legislation, of your disapproval of these harmful policies. Eagle Forum will continue to fight the assault on our Constitutional rights.
Many young people are deciding they no longer want to live as the biological sex they were assigned at birth. These children start putting pressure on their parents to let them begin the process of transitioning to the sex they think they really are. This transition process will include using powerful puberty blockers, extreme hormone treatments such as giving testosterone to girls who want to become boys, and top and bottom surgery to change their sexual body parts.
Utah parents are taking their children to the University of Utah health center for these services. The clinic is called the GEMS Clinic (Adolescent Gender Management & Support Clinic) at Eccles Primary Children’s Outpatient Services. The GEMS Clinic states that it helps teens affirm their gender through treatment and support.
According to their website by the third appointment the children can start puberty blockers and hormone therapy. They state, “that before preforming gender-affirming surgery (top or bottom), most surgeons prefer that you take hormones for at least 12 months and you establish a relationship with a mental health therapist.” How can doctors who are pledged to do no harm, do these horrible things to children? How can they give them life altering, dangerous drugs and surgery that will forever change and endanger their lives?
Further more, notice in the paragraph above where the U of U says they want the child (patient) to have a "relationship with a mental health therapist." If Equality Utah gets their way and passes a ban on conversion therapy, patients will have a relationship with a therapist who is unable to do nothing but affirm the gender of choice.
From LifeSite News: Click here to read how Italy is putting an end to this child abuse
HB399 4th Substitute, Conversion Therapy
This bill is expected to be voted on tonight
Please email the Members of the State House Representatives now and ask them to Vote YES on HB399 4th Substitute, Prohibition of the Practice of Conversion Therapy upon Minors and Vote NO to any motion to circle or substitute the Bill. This bill prohibits the old therapy practices subjecting a patient to physical discomfort through aversive treatment like electric shock, unpleasant physical sensations, or any practice that shames a patient. The bill does not infringe on the rights of parents, children and professional therapists to get help with same sex attraction or gender identity.
We need YOUR HELP to PASS HB399 4th Substitute
Please email & text the members of the House Memebers and ask them to
Vote YES on HB399 4th Substitute, Prohibition of the Practice of Conversion Therapy upon Minors and Vote NO to any motion to circle or substitute the Bill.
On Tuesday, March 5, the House Judiciary Committee will vote on HB399, Prohibition of the Practice of Conversion Therapy Upon Minors.
The bill says:
58-1-509. Prohibition on providing conversion therapy to a minor.
187 (1) As used in this section:
188 (a) (i) "Conversion therapy" means any practice or treatment that seeks to change the
189 sexual orientation or gender identity of a patient or client, including mental health therapy that
190 seeks to change, eliminate, or reduce behaviors, expressions, attractions, or feelings related to a
191 patient or client's sexual orientation or gender identity.
While we can all agree that the old practices subjecting a patient to physical discomfort through aversive treatment like electric shock, unpleasant physical sensations, or any practice that shames a patient should be banned. We don’t however believe that government should infringe on the rights of parents, children and professional therapists by only allowing gay affirmative help with same sex attraction or gender identity. A therapist could help someone eliminate heterosexual pornography addiction but could not help someone eliminate homosexual pornography addiction.
HB399 will infringe on religious liberty; therapists will not be able to help a gay teen work towards chastity or moral purity. A bi-sexual individual could not be helped towards a religiously motivated goal to eliminate compulsive sexual behaviors that are homosexual in nature.
HB399 is unnecessary; no therapist in Utah actively practices conversion therapy. All reports of actual, specific, harmful practices are either from long ago or happen in another state. Hurt feelings or dissatisfaction do not equal abuse.
HB399 makes the state government the coercive enforcer of a specific social and political agenda. A therapist could validate a homosexual lifestyle but could not suggest other options.
HB399 is a gross over simplification. It equates all therapy that is not actively gay affirmative with the most outrageously inappropriate and abusive forms of conversion therapy.
This bill does not represent the will of the people of Utah including many who experience same-sex attraction, the proponents of this bill are self selected and self appointed but claim to advocate for all.
If the legislature passes this bill it will be allowing a small, vocal and well-funded group to dictate many moral, religious and sexual choices for all Utahans.
We need YOUR HELP to STOP HB399
Please email & text the members of the House Judiciary Committee and tell the to VOTE NO to HB399!
Volunteers of Utah Eagle Forum.