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Guest Column

September 21, 2013

Gay rights push threatens free speech

Newspapers are usually advocates of free speech. But I’ve come around to the idea that liberals, including their print edition mouthpieces, are the greatest threat to free speech in America.

Witness the NSA scandal and “political correctness.”

So, now we see The Daily Star’s editorials advocating that state-licensed mental health counselors be penalized for exercising their free speech right to provide certain therapies.

Those therapies include any attempts to dissuade anyone younger than 18 from engaging in homosexual behavior.

This is especially troubling for me because I am a state-licensed social worker. Although I have never faced a situation where a parent or child has come to me to alter sexual behavior of any kind, homosexual or heterosexual, I am unhappy with those who would restrict my right to do so.

I can imagine that there are many young people in this state who may have homosexual feelings and want to change. They may be aware that their faith, whether Christianity, Judaism or Islam, is clearly opposed to acting on those feelings. In their desire to keep within the boundaries of their belief system, they may seek help through a mental health counselor. Or they may seek help from a counselor to change for some other reason.

There are thousands of counselors across the state who, like myself, responded to a call to help others. After having God’s grace poured into my life as a senior in college, I felt my lord moving me to serve others in human services.

After graduation, I became a Volunteer in Service to America, working with the destitute in Rochester.

After leaving VISTA, I went back to school and earned my Master of Social Work degree, then eventually got my license. All of this was to answer God’s call. Receiving an abundance of grace and love, I wanted to share it by helping the needy, first the destitute, then the developmentally disabled, and now, for the past 16 years, in the mental health field.

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