Utah's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing is considering a new regulation that will prevent teens from exploring with licensed therapists all possible paths and choices for how to approach their sexuality and gender.

We should protect LGBT youth from any aversive or coercive therapy, and we must ensure the right of all teens to discuss freely any confusion they may be experiencing related to sex and gender and allow them to explore the possibility of change.

Please help protect all teens by signing the petition to alter the language to ensure that all teens have equal access to therapy that helps them live their deeply held convictions.

If you have specific experience with therapy that would be impacted, or are concerned about how this regulation may harm you or your family in the future, please take action by submitting written and oral commentary to DOPL and attending the public hearing:

Date: 09/26/2019 09:00 AM

Location:
Heber Wells Bldg
160 E 300 S
North Conference Room (first floor)
Salt Lake City, UT

Public Comments:
Larry Marx, lmarx@utah.gov
Must be submitted no later than 5pm on October 1, 2019

Learn more at ProtectAllTeens.com.

Additional Information

The proposed amendments would define “engaging in or attempting to engage in the practice of sexual orientation change efforts or gender identity change efforts” with a minor client as unprofessional conduct that would subject a therapist to professional disciplinary proceedings and loss of license. The proposed amendments do not define the term “practice.” The definitions of the terms “sexual orientation change efforts” and “gender identity change efforts” whose “practice” is prohibited themselves include “methods, practices, procedures, or techniques.”

This is not limited to physically aversive practices such as electroshocking a client’s genitals, injecting drugs or ingesting substances to induce vomiting while looking at homoerotic images, etc. Such techniques are what most people think of when they hear the term “sexual orientation change efforts.” The “practice” a licensed therapist undertakes with a client in the office consists of conversational speech. The recommended proposals would clearly include and apply to ordinary conversations in a therapeutic context.

In substance, the proposed amendments would implicitly enshrine into law the idea that same-sex attractions are immutable, that they cannot change—notwithstanding the lack of scientific evidence to support that proposition. Indeed, both clinical experience and recent research show instead that the sexual attractions of those who experience same-sex attractions may be, and often are, fluid. The proposed amendments would operate to prevent minor clients who experience unwanted same-sex attractions from obtaining therapy to explore fluidity in those attractions and to address issues that may bear on those unwanted attractions. The proposed amendments further would prevent minor clients who are experiencing gender confusion or dysphoria from obtaining therapy to help explore that confusion.