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A Waterloo pastor spoke out against a counseling ban the city council passed on Monday night. The ban will prevent minors from receiving counseling from licensed professionals with regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity unless the professional affirms the child’s confusion.

Harrell said the city is silencing him and preventing him from having an intelligent conversation with a kid who is confused and asks him questions.

“What you’re doing is limiting my right to be able to have an intelligent conversation with anybody,” he said.

Harrell said if someone tells him they are homosexual, he doesn’t tell them they’re wrong and going to burn in hell.

“That’s not what I do,” he said. “We are here to love each other — to impact the community. But to limit me, the rights, the I can’t even speak to a child that’s asking me a question, that’s not right.”

Harrell condemned outdated so-called conversion therapy practices like immersing children in cold water or electric shock therapy, but said there must remain the ability to have intelligent conversations.

In the end, he said he felt like the council already had its mind made up.


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