Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Counseling
Regulations Governing the Practice of Professional Counseling [18 VAC 115 ‑ 20]
Action Unprofessional conduct - conversion therapy
Comment Period Ended on 8/7/2019
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7/28/19  2:58 pm
Commenter: Edward C. Krattli

Protect the freedom and rights of Virginia families
Under the legal legislative process, attempts to impose a ban on legitimate counseling practices in Virginia failed in 2016 and 2018.  The legislative process involved debate and input by our duly elected state representatives who then voted for or against the misguided bills.
Unfortunately, unelected and biased state regulators are going forward with a sweeping proposal to ban the counseling, which would infringe upon the fundamental right of parents to care for their children and would violate their freedom of speech and free exercise of religion; arguably violations under Virginia law.
Because the General Assembly has not adopted the governor's extreme and misguided views, ban proponents and regulators appointed by the governor are seeking to impose prohibitions through regulation.  These regulators are attempting to bypass the General Assembly altogether, which has the effect of diluting and ignoring the voice of Virginia's citizens and their elected representatives.
Please take into account that...
  • Parents are closest to their child’s challenges; they are in the best position to make healthcare decisions involving the well-being of their child.
  • Under Virginia law, parents have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding the upbringing, education, and care of their children; not the state, and certainly not by unelected regulators.
  • Some young people may have attractions they desire to change or moderate.  Others may simply desire guidance from a counselor to live a chaste life.  In either instance, all counseling options should be available for families to use based on their particular needs.
  • The proposed ban would deny families the freedom to seek counseling aligned with their faith.
  • Licensed professionals with years of education and experience should not be removed from the process of helping children work through these sensitive and deeply personal issues. 
CommentID: 74596