Friday, September 20, 2019
California politicians are telling people of many religions that their faith is unacceptable to the state. These legislators are pushing anti-religious, LGBTQ-affirming practices in education (AB-493), and in pastoral counseling and psychotherapy (ACR-99).
What is their justification? A declaration in California’s Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR-99) claims that “groups in society, including therapists and religious groups,” create stigma and have “caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation” in sexual and gender minorities. These politicians claim that LGBTQ-affirming beliefs will lead to better mental health outcomes.
The presumption of blame on religious groups and therapists stigmatizes people of many faiths. More importantly, the research does not support this claim.