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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7/29/19  1:44 pm
Commenter: Mark Menotti

Do Not Infringe on Parental Rights

Good afternoon--

I am asking that you reject the proposal to ban, for minors, “any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions or to… reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of any gender.”   This proposal would infringe the fundamental right of parents to care for their children and violate their freedom of speech and free exercise of religion.  The proposal should be rejected because:

  • 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.
  • 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, there should be options for families to make informed decisions.
  • 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. 

This should never be allowed to become an Executive/administrative rout of a legislative domain.  Let this be debated in the Virginia Assembly and Senate.  These actions are devolving our Republic. Thank you.  Mark Menotti (Concerned Citizen)

CommentID: 74619