Robin Snell signed VETO Hate Bill 1840, the Counseling Discrimination bill via Tom Cogburn 2016-04-07 03:57:57 -0500
Please, add your voice and urge Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to veto this discriminatory bill.4,239 signatures
Dear Governor Haslam,
We urge you to veto HB1840, which allows counselors to turn away clients based on the counselor's biases and values. This bill puts the focus on the desires of counselors rather than on the needs of clients, damaging the counseling profession and putting clients at risk.
An anti-bullying amendment was stripped from the bill in the House Health Committee leaving youth vulnerable in areas where mental health services are not widely available.
Thank you for considering our views.
Cassie Hopkins, a young bisexual woman, had volunteered at Yoke Youth Ministries in Jefferson County. The program is interdenominational and draws on the work of young adults to mentor middle-school students. She had gone through the screening process and there were no complaints about her work as a volunteer. After disclosing her sexual orientation on Facebook, her supervisor told her that she would no longer be allowed to volunteer, even though there is nothing in Yoke's written policies about sexual orientation. Her supervisor compared bisexuality to alcoholism and drug addiction.
Let's show support for Cassie and remind our fellow Tennesseans and especially Yoke that people can serve and contribute to enriching the lives of youth in our state regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a message Yoke and many others need to hear. Please, add your voice.
We are glad to partner with the LGBT Alumni of Carson-Newman on this project. They first brought the case to our attention.
Note: We are not arguing about whether anyone has the legal ability to discriminate in Tennessee. What we are contesting is whether it is right to exclude talented people from helping youth simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.