LGBTQ Activists Seek Control of Maine Mental Health Professionals

Pakistani transgenders carry placards as they rally to mark World Aids Day in Karachi on November 30, 2013. World AIDS Day is celebrated on December 1 every year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. AFP PHOTO/Asif HASSAN (Photo credit should …
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DR. SUSAN BERRY

LGBTQ lobbyists are working to achieve control of mental health professionals in Maine as a means to crush the notion that children who claim to be a gender that is incompatible with their biological sex are psychologically impaired.

The activists are hoping Maine will be the 16th legislature to succumb to their gender ideology, which requires the government to acknowledge biological status as male or female is subservient to gender identity.

As the Journal Tribune reported, Maine state Rep. Ryan Fecteau and state Sen. Linda Sanborn, both Democrats, introduced a bill that aims to control what mental health professionals say to their child clients who express unwanted sexual attractions or gender confusion in their private sessions with them.

The legislation, if signed into law, would make it illegal for any mental health professional to respond to children who express unwanted sexual attractions or gender confusion by helping them to explore these conflicted feelings or perceptions.

“The ‘conversion therapy’ bill is a proposed gag order on counselors and therapists who treat minor children for mental health issues related to gender identity and sexual orientation,” Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman, a Republican, told Breitbart News. “Under the proposed statute, therapists would not be allowed to offer any counseling that deviates from the prevailing progressive orthodoxy on these matters.”

The intent of the legislation is based on what LGBTQ activists claim to be “social science consensus” that individuals who, through counseling, have discovered they are not gay, or that their gender is, after all, compatible with their biological sex, have been “harmed.”

“A wide range of major health and mental health organizations in the United States recognize being [LGBT] and having same-sex sexual attractions as normal variants of human sexuality and gender identity, rather than an illness or a developmental disorder,” states the bill.

In Massachusetts, where a similar bill has been approved by the state legislature and sent to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk, lobbyist Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay & Lesbian Political Caucus, said she is “100 percent confident” such legislation is constitutional.

“We’re banning a therapy that essentially says being LGBTQ is sick, it’s an illness, and it needs to be cured,” she said, according to the Boston Globe. “And that’s baloney.”

However, a review of the issue of gender dysphoria in young people in 2018 in the Atlantic highlighted the problem that arises when legislative “bans” on mental health treatment are lobbied by LGBTQ rights organizations that seem to know little about the psychological development of children:

The Human Rights Campaign’s “Transgender Children & Youth: Understanding the Basics” web page … asserts that “being transgender is not a phase, and trying to dismiss it as such can be harmful during a time when your child most needs support and validation.” Similarly, parents who consult the pages tagged “transgender youth” on GLAAD’s site will find many articles about supporting young people who come out as trans but little about the complicated diagnostic and developmental questions faced by the parents of a gender-exploring child.

Lockman explained the effects of the proposed legislation on mental health professionals should it become law:

Therapists who treat minor children will be required to walk a tightrope, and be careful not to say anything that contradicts the Leftist progressives’ Fake Science dogma as enshrined in the proposed statute.

For instance, a therapist treating an 8-year-old boy who dresses as a girl and believes he is a girl trapped in a boy’s body would be in legal jeopardy if the therapist advised the patient against puberty-blocking drugs and sex-change surgery. Licensed counselors will have to keep their professional opinions to themselves if they are even mildly skeptical of the notion that an 8-year-old is capable of making informed decisions about transgender issues. Violators of the gag order would be subject to being stripped of their license to practice.

Requiring mental health counselors to provide “gender affirmation” means they could be the first professionals who can guide parents of a gender-confused child first toward outward expressions of gender transition — such as clothing, name change, and pronoun use, then toward puberty-blocking drugs and surgical treatments. Ultimately, the child can be made sterile.

In July 2018, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would have placed the same constraints on mental health professionals in Maine.

In a two-page veto announcement, LePage wrote of his concerns for already licensed mental health practitioners should he have signed the bill into law:

This is so broad that licensed professionals would be prohibited from counseling an individual even at the individual’s own request. We should not prohibit professionals from counseling an individual even at the individual’s own request. We should not prohibit professionals from providing their expertise to those who seek it for their own personal and basic questions such as, “How do I deal with these feelings I am experiencing?”

LePage also went on to voice his concerns that such a bill might be interpreted as a “threat to religious liberty.”

“Parents have the right to seek counsel and treatment for their children from professionals who do not oppose the parents’ own religious beliefs,” he asserted. “Because the standard of practice for these professionals already prohibits any practice or therapy that would amount to physical or mental abuse, what we are really trying to regulate are the private, consultative conversations between a licensed provider and a client.”

Lockman said Fecteau’s bill in Maine — and similar legislation throughout the country — are “part of a much larger campaign to shut down reality-based free speech.”

“In the modern era, heretics won’t be burned at the stake,” he added. “But they will be muzzled, publicly shamed and driven to the poor house.”

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