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!