A bill that would allow mental health counselors to turn away patients based on their religious beliefs and personal principles has passed in the House in Tennessee, the latest state to introduce measures that opponents say result in legalized discrimination against gays, bisexuals and transgender people. The Senate, which already passed the measure, still would have to approve an amendment adopted by the House.
The bill passed 68-22 Wednesday following a rancorous debate on the House floor. If it is signed into law, Tennessee would be the only state to allow counselors to refuse to treat patients based on their own belief system, said Art Terrazas, Director of Government Affairs for the American Counseling Association. The organization has called the bill an “unprecedented attack” on the counseling profession and government overreach. FULL REPORT