The Counseling Ban has been signed into law by the Governor, but thanks to your advocacy, this bill is not nearly as bad as it could have been. Because of your calls, emails, and personal visits during Lobby Day, the Senate revised its radical version of the Counseling ban to drop the “child abuse provision.” The bill eventually signed by the Governor was on track to be the most radical, most draconian of its kind in the nation, but thanks to your efforts it no longer contains mandatory reporter language that would force abuse reports.
Still, the Governor failed to advocate to create any kind of exemption for talk therapy. Any honest conversations between counselors and patients should not be prohibited, which is what this new law does. Parents, kids, and therapists have rights of free speech and freedom of religion, and now that this legislation has passed, it will be challenged as unconstitutional.
Our friends at the Massachusetts Family Institute will be filing a legal challenge to this law, and are actively seeking plaintiffs to join the suit, particularly including any parents of children diagnosed with gender identity issues or licensed therapists concerned about their free speech rights. If you or someone you know is a potential plaintiff, please contact MFI.
The Governor has signed the Counseling Ban, but your efforts made a difference to make it a less aggressive piece of legislation. There are many more legislative battles ahead of us on Beacon Hill.