As I expected in my earlier report, a legislative committee today signed off on a rule that lets counselors refuse to treat people if they have religious objections. This arises from efforts to create barriers in the law to equal treatment of LGBT people.
This is a mirror image of the anti-abortion crowd’s effort to throw up every barrier possible to abortion, under the bogus pretext of women’s health. Many of the same people are using religion as a cover to legalize discrimination against LGBT people. Here, a young person conflicted by sexual issues or perhaps bulled in school, could be turned away by a counselor with whose “ethical, moral or religioius” principles stood in the way of his or her help.
It’s mean stuff. The ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Counseling Association opposed the rule, which amounts to an only-in-Arkansas addition to the ethical rules covering counselors.
Consideration of the rule was delayed because it would have been bad optics to take the vote when originally scheduled — just after the slaughter of LGBT people in an Orlando club.