“Conversion therapy” bill sparking debate ahead of committee hearing

KHGI / Nebraska TV

State Senator Adam Morfeld is fed up with some of the feedback he’s getting on a bill that would ban what’s known as “conversion therapy” for kids.

State Senator Megan Hunt introduced two bills that would ban therapy to change an a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and make it child abuse to conduct it.

“Everyone emailing me to support conversion therapy by opposing Senator @NebraskaMegan’s bills to ban it base it on “allowing patients to choose” the therapy. Teens don’t “choose” conversion therapy, it is forced on them by their homophobic and deluded parents,” said Morfeld on Twitter Sunday. “This isn’t about “religious freedom.” It’s about basic human rights and saving teens from suicide at the hands of misguided and insecure parents.”

But, the Nebraska Family Alliance released a statement, asking senators to oppose the bills.

It said parents and guardians who place a child in a church program or school that adheres to a Biblical view of sexuality and code of conduct would warrant felony prosecution.

“Professional regulations prohibit abusive and coercive therapy, but these bills use intentionally broad language to encompass any sort of counseling, including basic talk therapy, in order to outlaw helping someone move away from unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion,” said the Nebraska Family Alliance statement.

“People looking for change should be free to find services and resources to best help them achieve their desired goals. Politicians have no business denying people that freedom or to shut down counselors, schools, and religious organization that provide those services.

“At the heart of many religions is the idea that people can change and find true joy in embracing and living out their faith. Government should protect the right of individuals to practice their faith, not criminalize it.”

LB 167 and 168 are scheduled for hearings before the Nebraska Legislature’s Judiciary Committee on Thursday.