Friday, November 17, 2017

Suit Challenges Tennessee's Therapist Bill

A suit was filed last week in a Tennessee federal district court challenging the constitutionality of  Tennessee's "Therapist Bill" (TN Code 63-22-302) that provides:
No counselor or therapist providing counseling or therapy services shall be required to counsel or serve a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held principles of the counselor or therapist; provided, that the counselor or therapist coordinates a referral of the client to another counselor or therapist who will provide the counseling or therapy.
The complaint (full text) in Copas v. Haslam, (MD TN, filed 11/13/2017) contends that, despite the broad wording of the section:
The Tennessee Legislature intended for the Bill solely to allow religious counselors to discriminate against the LGBT community.
It asserts that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause and the Establishment Clause.  JURIST reports on the lawsuit.