Sen. Salmon defends family’s ability to seek counseling that aligns with their faith

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State Sen. Sandy Salmon spoke in opposition to a counseling ban at the Waterloo City Council meeting on Monday night. The city banned counseling of confused kids regarding their sexual orientation or gender identity depending on the content of such counseling.

Salmon said she has a number of constituents who go to Waterloo for mental health services.

She said the ordinance will limit their choices for “no good reason.”

“Families ought to be able to choose the counseling that best fits the goal they have for their minor child,” Salmon said. “Issues of sexuality, sexual ethics and identity involve a family’s religious beliefs and they should not be hindered in receiving counseling that’s aligned with their faith.”

Salmon said many individuals do not agree with the beliefs and viewpoints that have become popular in society today as it relates to sexuality.

“They should not be denied access to mental health services that align with their faith,” Salmon said. “And the same is true of mental health providers — they should not be denied the ability to counsel in alignment with their faith and in accordance with their professional code of ethics, which prioritizes client-directed care.”

Salmon pointed out the ban is counseling censorship as the ordinance singles out specific speech that an individual can experience change in their sexual orientation or live consistent with their biological sex while permitting opposing viewpoints to be discussed in counseling.

“It is wrong based on the principles of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, parents’ rights, professional code of ethics for practitioners and equal protection under the law,” Salmon said.

Such an ordinance has already been struck down by the Eleventh Circuit Court as unconstitutional, Salmon said.

Salmon added that many legislative actions have been identified as “anti-LGBTQ,” but she doesn’t believe that to be the case.

“I totally reject that notion and that characterization,” she said. “It’s been passed for the safety and protection of youth.”


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