Friday, May 8, 2015
The panel on which I spoke this afternoon at the Petrie Flom Conference on Law, Religion and Medicine was titled Religious Beliefs and the Health of the LGBT Community. Shawn Cirncoli spoke about provision of health care to transgender persons and potential claims of religious exemptions. Craig Knooth spoke about sexual orientation change therapy cases, suggesting that such therapy should be viewed as a form of religious ministry, with the result that prohibiting SOCE within the scope of a licence vindicates Establishment Clause concerns.
Although recent discussions concerning religious objections to same-sex relationships have focused on the question of whether businesses can assert a religious claim that would allow them to opt out of participation in same-sex marriages, the issue I addressed in my paper for the conference relates to the training of students planning to enter counseling professions. How should graduate schools training students to become psychologists, social workers or counselors deal with students who object on religious grounds to counseling homosexuals about their relationships, or at all? Can a student’s religious opposition either to counseling homosexuals at all or to counseling them in ways that affirm their homosexual relationships can be accommodated in their graduate counseling training, and if so, how? I argued that the religious views of those who wish to enter the counseling professions can be respected in a manner consistent with the primary objective of an educational institutions in training counselors in a manner that protects the interests of those who seek counseling.
I should note that you can find a link to the Dropbox file with all of the papers from the conference here. Hopefully my short descriptions here will prompt you to do that.