Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation Wednesday that allows counselors and therapists to turn away clients based on the practitioners’ “sincerely held principles,” a move criticized by professional organizations and LGBT-rights groups alike.
House Bill 1840, also known as Senate Bill 1556, shields counselors from being required to provide services to clients if providing those services would clash with the counselors’ personal values. (Earlier versions of the bill phrased it as “sincerely held religious beliefs” instead.)
Those counselors cannot be sued, charged with a crime, or penalized for their refusal, although they must coordinate a referral with the client to another counselor or therapist. The protections do not apply if a patient is at risk of imminent harm.
Read the full story via The Atlantic.