PFLAG // Blog // Counseling Discrimination Bill Seeks Expansion

December 8th, 2016 | Posted by Kathy Halbrooks


PFLAG Nashville strongly opposes SB1, which was recently filed by Sen. Jack Johnson (Williamson County), seeking to expand HB1840/SB1556 that was passed last year allowing therapists to refuse treatment to clients based on their own beliefs; last year’s bill was passed despite strong protests from medical and psychological associations as well as from citizens and voters.  In addition to the negative ramifications for those seeking therapy, passage of HB1840/SB1556 resulted in the cancellation of several conferences scheduled to be held in Nashville.  These cancellations caused the state to lose millions of dollars.

If the new bill is passed, it will keep the state Board for Professional Counselors, Marital and Family Therapists, and Clinical Pastoral Therapists from adopting “any rule that incorporates by reference a national association’s code of ethics, including, but not limited to, the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics.”

Johnson’s goal is to come up with a code of ethics specific for Tennessee despite the fact there have been no complaints about the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics.

We encourage you to contact your legislators and speak out against this harmful bill.  Contact information for your legislators can be found at

– Kathy Halbrooks, Co-Chair of PFLAG Nashville and Tennessee State Coordinator

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