Tennessee clergy oppose HB1840, the counseling discrimination bill

Tennessee clergy are speaking out against HB1840, known as Hate Bill 1840, with the following statement:

"As faith leaders and clergy serving people in Tennessee, we urge the Tennessee House of Representatives to reject House Bill 1840, which allows counselors to turn clients away based on the counselor's religious beliefs.  Those seeking counseling deserve the highest standard of care and we believe the American Counseling Association's code of ethics provides that standard."

Rev. Emily Reeves Grammer, Nashville

Rev. Dr. Bruce W. Spangler, Knoxville

Rev. Michael Williams, Nashville

Rev. Adam Kelchner, Nashville

Rev. Tim Kobler, Knoxville

Rev. Nancy Speas Hill, Franklin

Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, retired, The United Methodist Church, Hermitage

Rev. Allison Hancock, Memphis

Rev. Deven Hazelwood, Johnson City

Rev. Pamela Hawkins, Nashville

Rev. Eric Posa, Memphis

Rabbi Josh Barton, Nashville

Rev. William (Will) Berger, Franklin

Rev. Laura Bogle, Maryville

Rev. Bryan Currie, Nashville

Jon Coffee, ministerial candidate, Knoxville

Rev. Cynthia Andrews-Looper, Memphis

Rev. V. Jill Sizemore, Knoxville

Rev. Ken Carroll, Chattanooga

Rev. Andrew B. Ward, Goodlettsville

Rev. Orisha Bowers, Memphis

Rev. Paul Slentz, Nashville

Rev. Steve Wolf, Clarksville

Rev. William Warren, Germantown

Rev. John A Smith, Nashville

Rev. Byron Forester, Memphis

Rev. Steven Shelton, Bartlett

Rev. Lisa Anderson, Memphis

Rev. Mark Brown, Memphis

Rev. Dr. Gillian Marie Klee, Memphis

Rev. Ruth Lovell Bradham, Cordova

Rev. Anne Fraley, Lebanon

Rev. James C. Pappas III, Fayetteville

Rev. Dorothy Chatham Hartzog, retired Episcopal priest, Clarksville

Rev. Mark C. Pafford, Cookeville

Rev. Michael Alford, Nashville

Rev. Lisa Gwock, Nashville

Rev. Joey Reed, OSL, Jackson

Rev. Kira Schlesinger, Lebanon

Pastor Tommy Artist, Johnson City

Bishop Charles Headley, Jefferson City

Rev. Cheryl Cornish, Memphis

Rev. John Burruss, Memphis

Barney Self, Ed.D., LMFT, Pastoral Counseling Minister and President of TNAMFT, Forest Hills

Bishop Patrick Potts, Johnson City

Rabbi Shana Goldstein Mackler, Nashville

Rev. Eric S. Greenwood, Jr., Nashville

Rev. Eugene J. Bolton, Nashville

Cantor Tracy L. Fishbein, Nashville

Rev. Greg Bullard, Madison

Rev. Renee Dillard, Memphis

Rev. Kevin Mitchell, Murfreesboro


If you are a member of the clergy serving people in Tennessee and would like to sign the statement, contact us with your name and city at [email protected] .

Showing 10 reactions

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  • Thomas Fuquay
    commented 2016-04-09 17:37:04 -0500
    I hope this bill gets veto. This will open the door for other discrimination like anti-inter-racial marriages.
  • Richard Gillespie
    commented 2016-04-04 05:07:10 -0500
    I am against this harmful and unethical bill. Rev. Richard Gillespie, Retired Minister
  • Richard Gillespie
    commented 2016-04-04 05:05:00 -0500
    I like this. Richard GIllespie
  • Michael Leslie
    commented 2016-04-03 15:43:08 -0500
    I have a degree in psychology from a church sponsored college in Tennessee and I see no need for HB1840. Counselors are trained to deal with differences and to rise above their own prejudices. There is no need for legislators to interfere with the counselor’s professional code of ethics which states counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination based on religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. It’s hard enough for people to get help in Tennessee where many areas are without mental health coverage. As a former youth minister, in crisis situations it is critical to provide help when it is sought. A suicidal teen turned away because of their religious affiliation may not have time to seek out another counselor. HB1840 is discriminatory, divisive and represents an unnecessary and dangerous government overreach.
  • Victoria Hester
    followed this page 2016-04-03 09:26:09 -0500
  • Joe Lectron
    commented 2016-04-02 16:34:21 -0500
    I applaud you all for your understanding and defense of a basic tenet of Christianity. One I am sorry to say I see in too few professed Christians in these times, ones which seem to me more guided by quasi-political based religious interpretations.
  • Wayne Ollis
    commented 2016-04-02 04:25:59 -0500
  • Jason Mikel
    commented 2016-04-01 21:19:47 -0500
    Loving God’s children does not mean choosing who to love. I thought Jesus made that perfectly clear.
  • Andrew Ward
    commented 2016-03-31 22:50:07 -0500
    Supporting all Gods children.

    Rev. Andrew B. Ward
  • Cynthia Andrews-Looper
    commented 2016-03-31 15:59:31 -0500
    I stand against this harmful bill.

    Rev. Cynthia Andrews-Looper

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