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
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
7/30/19  4:13 pm
Commenter: Richard Dunbar

Virginia families should have freedom to acquire the counseling they choose

Unelected state regulators are going forward with their sweeping 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.

Because the General Assembly has not adopted their view, ban proponents are seeking to impose a prohibition through regulation. In fact, state regulators are attempting to bypass the General Assembly altogether, which has the effect of diluting our voice in Richmond. These governor-appointed officials need to hear my opposition to this ban because:

Parents are closest to their child’s challenges; they are in the best position to make healthcare decisions involving the wellbeing 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.

CommentID: 74637