Anchorage Assembly bans some therapeutic conversations about gender confusion, sexual preference - Must Read Alaska
Connect with:
Monday, September 27, 2021
HomePoliticsAnchorage Assembly bans some therapeutic conversations about gender confusion, sexual preference

Anchorage Assembly bans some therapeutic conversations about gender confusion, sexual preference

gif ad for must read alaska donations

THERAPISTS GET FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS CLIPPED

Sex therapy just got a bit trickier for counselors in Anchorage. There are lines that can’t be crossed. They are lines that are hard to define. Yet they come with big penalties if they are not obeyed.

An ordinance that prohibits licensed counselors and therapists from helping youth deal with their gender confusion or homosexuality issues passed the Anchorage Assembly on Wednesday, on a vote of 9-2.

Only Assembly members Jamie Allard and Crystal Kennedy voted against it.

The vote to strike down the free speech rights of Anchorage counselors and therapists came late in the night on Wednesday, after hours of testimony from both sides of the controversy.

Gay testifiers said they don’t think “conversion therapy” is beneficial to those under the age of 18 and is actually harmful.

Opponents of the ordinance said that it is an infringement on the rights of counselors and parents, and also harms youth who are trying to come to terms with their homosexual interests, experiences, or explorations.

All of the testimony came via telephone, as Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has forbidden people from entering the Assembly Chambers at the Loussac Library, where the Assembly has been meeting illegally for the month of August, in violation of the Open Meetings Act.

The ban includes school counselors, but not athletic coaches or members of the clergy — but only when they are acting in the capacity of a religious adviser. If they are acting in the capacity of a mental health professional, they are prohibited from these delicate conversations with youth.

Also prohibited from having these conversations with youth are physicians or assistants, osteopaths or assistants, registered or practical nurses or assistive personnel, certified nurse aides, physical or occupational therapists or assistants, psychologists or psychological associates, social workers or associates, licensed professional conservators or guardians, naturopaths, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training.

The ban comes with a $500 per-day fine for anyone performing what is called “conversion therapy.” The ordinance does not specifically outline what that therapy entails, but states that it is discredited and harmful.

The ordinance does not intend to limit counselors from actually encouraging or accepting homosexuality or gender identity changes among those under the age of 18, only from discouraging it. It states clearly that various forms of sexuality are part of the natural spectrum of identity. However, it does not define all forms of sexuality, such as sexual addiction, hyper-sexuality, cross-dressing, or pan-sexuality. The ordinance applies to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender sexual preferences.

According to Gallup, in 2017 the percentage of Americans who identify as LGBT was 4.5%, but 8.1% of millennials self-identified as LGBTQ.

[Read the full ordinance at this link.]

Counselors may still assist and support youth as they go through chemical castration and other medical procedures to present themselves as the opposite sex.

Counselors may also provide acceptance, support, and understanding of a young person’s sexual preferences, but may not provide a counter viewpoint or inquire of the child about whether or not their sexual behavior is the result of prior abuse. To do so would indicate they are not honoring the child’s human rights, according to the ordinance.

Counselors can support the “identity exploration, and development, including sexual orientation and gender identity-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices.”

This means any conversations about gender identity must support the child’s viewpoint, rather than the child and the family as a whole. But the ordinance does not address what happens if the child is ambivalent or changes his or her mind about his or her sexuality.

“It is unlawful for any provider to provide, apply, or use sexual orientation or gender identity change efforts with a patient who is a minor,” the new law reads.

Laws such as this have been passed around the country, and many are equally vague about what it means to perform “conversion therapy.”

Donations Welcome

Share

Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Unconstitutional laws are illegal and should be ignored. Esp ones designed to facilitate child sexual abuse.

  • Counseling in the MatSu

    • The adult, sexual predators in the Valley public schools also groom vulnerable, unguarded school children. Don’t think the perverts in the government will stop at Anchorage. The march through the institutions is unrelenting.

  • Just more evidence of how crazy our assembly members are and how far we have fallen and how serious the problem has become….the destructive and counter-productive activity by this terrible group of folks will take some real push back to change but change it must….

    • Agreed!! So, when Suzanne LaFrance was endorsed by Planned Parenthood in the last election, why did South Anchorage continue to elect her? People get what they ask for. Bye bye parental rights. Your kid is now the property of the state

  • If Anchorage’s Assembly met in violation of Alaska’s Open Meetings Act (AS 44.62.310-.312), it seems reasonable to suggest the ordinance is invalid and compliance will –not– happen.
    .
    May we respectfully request Assemblywoman Allard report the Assembly’s continuing violations of Alaska’s Open Meetings Act to the acting Attorney General Clyde “Ed” Sniffen, Jr., (1031 West 4th Avenue, Suite 200, Anchorage, AK 99501, tel: 907-269-5100, fax: 907-276-3697)
    .
    …and request the Department of Law order the Assembly to comply with Alaska’s Open Meetings Act.

    • The Act, which speaks about “open to the public for participation,” says that it can be conducted through teleconference. And the public was able to teleconference. Not sure what part of the Act was broken here.

      • From AS 44.62.312. State Policy Regarding Meetings we have:
        .
        (a) It is the policy of the state that…
        .
        (6) the use of teleconferencing under this chapter is for the –convenience– of the parties, –the public–, and the governmental units conducting the meetings. (emphases added)
        .
        Nothing in the law prohibits the Assembly from providing teleconferencing service.
        .
        Problem is nothing in the law allows the Assembly to force non-executive sessions to be conducted by teleconference only.
        .
        Not everyone has the convenience of teleconferencing gear, expertise to use it, time to get somewhere and set it up, or a contingency plan if gear and/or circuit at either end fails or if their input is simply ignored or muted.
        .
        The law does not allow the Assembly to prohibit people in those circumstances from attending non-executive meetings.
        .
        So, we argue, technology is good, but the law does not allow it to be used as an –exclusive– substitute for publicly attended Assembly meetings.

        • The meeting was illegal so the law or ordinance should be illegal and ignored

  • This is what we get when the silent majority takes a nap

    • That’s what we get when parents willfully ignore the danger posed to their children at public schools where they are being groomed by adult, sexual predators. Why do parents imagine there is a coordinated effort to have them sign-away their right to observe their children’s on-line classes while distance indoctrinating?

  • We have to stop pussyfooting around with these people. The public testimony was overwhelmingly against the ordinance. Bad as this ordinance is (and it is horribly vague) do we trust leftists not to go full tilt against parents later? Anyone getting deja vu? How far over into their middle or our extreme left are we going to go before we find ourselves in their belly? Personally I’m F-ing done with these liars and narcissists. I’m not indulging in their sanctimonious crap about ‘matters where we agree’ anymore. I’m not hiding my disdain for them anymore as they now refuse to hide their disdain for me. I’m done.

    • I’m with you. These godless perverts who seek to destroy everything that is decent, good, and true are unwilling to concede ground. Why do we? They are evil. They will lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want. We cannot reason or compromise with sexual predators who seek to devour vulnerable children.

  • What do LGBTQ issues have to do with running a city? Is there a reader out there who can explain?

    Thank God for the municipal employees who DO take care of this city. Thank God for those who manage this place and keep it running.

    The agenda for Assembly meetings should be about running the city.

    Most of us are hoping for an Assembly who will generate a plan for Anchorage to attract investment and commerce.

    The Anchorage Assembly currently is accomplishing one thing…..for the citizens to enjoy how great it is when you quit hitting your head against the wall. ( next election)

    • LGBTQ is a protected group. It makes sense for all levels of gevernment to make laws pertaining to this group or any other protected group such as race, religion, age, sex, etc. Also, this ordinance only protects minors – I don’t find it crazy for a Municipal Code to attempt to protect children.

      • Protecting LBGQT is a matter for the courts. Most issues regarding protection of any sort goes to the courts. Your group is getting free representation at the expense of every taxpayer within the municipality of Anchorage. You won’t have this luxury when EagleExit occurs.

        Wake up TAXPAYERS!!!

        • Courts address what is law. This ordinance puts into law the protection of minors from conversion therapy. It has been upheld already in other states, municipalities, cities, and communities.

      • The LGBTQ group is protected class when it comes to employment discrimination. That is all.

      • Everything you just wrote is a LIE. America was founded upon INDIVIDUAL rights, not group rights. No where in the Constitution are we required to favor or protect sexual behavior. Parents, not sexual perverts in the government, should decide what kind of counseling their children need. Additionally, parents are derelict in their duties to allow their unguarded and vulnerable children to be sexually abused by the perverts running the government schools. Past time to remove the blinders. It’s all about priorities.

  • They did not ban “some” therapy for folks questioning their sexual identity. They banned all of it.

    Yes, I know the language does not say all, but the inevitable outcome is that no therapist will risk losing their licence, practice, or livelihood to so much as talk to a patient that is questioning their feelings about sexuality.

    There is too much at stake.

    • “Although the ordinance doesn’t say what I’m criticizing, I will make broad assumptions using the slippery slope fallacy.”

    • The License is a State License not Municipality so they Muni can not by law remove any license.

  • The ordinance literally explains what it means by “conversion therapy.” Maybe you didn’t get that far – end of page 2 is where they begin defining it.

  • Illogical and arrogant. Reckless and idiotic. We see the pattern and it’s pure progressive foolishness. It just keeps getting worse. I would like to hear from a Therapist who thinks this is a good idea…

    • I think you would find any credible therapist would not try and talk a child out of how they feel. The DSM(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the reference for mental health disorders) took homosexuality out as a mental disorder in the 70’s.

  • Same situation in California but religious clergy are also banned from this practice. Now the question of what is preached from the pulpit – counseling or what? The TWILIGHT ZONE has arrived and the dictator of Anchorage has been reading too many California newspapers of late. You could put him back in Berkowitz Berkeley and his agenda would be “totally, for sure” approved.

  • This idiocy would not survive a court test.

    • It would, and has. It is currently law in 20 states as well as 74 cities, municipalities, or communities

    • It doesn’t survive the Constitution test, but will be championed and approved by the godless perverts on the court. We the People need to say NO.

  • I’m happy to see the assembly is attempting to protect vulnerable LGBTQ youth from overly zealous, religious, bigoted, ignorant parents that would force this harmful conversion therapy on their children.

    • bert,
      Sounds like you escaped from the ‘cuckoos nest’. This ‘assembly’ is doing nothing to protect anyone. They are attempting to negate every honorable, decent, common sense process that could possibly help confused kids find the path of righteousness. These kids are mostly victim to perverted, anti-everything, except perversion, propaganda, such as what is currently taught them at “school”. This assembly and their leader, tiny ethan, need to be banished from all school and social processes involving kids and, adults, for that matter. Sick is sick. No maybe or ‘little bit’. Guard your kids, citizens of Alaska.

      • You’re wrong and I hope you don’t have children for their sake.

      • You doubt that the assembly wants to help LGBTQ youth? Do you have evidence for that or is it just in your head that any politician that has a different view than you is pure evil? You’re wrong and I hope you don’t have children for their sake. Citizens of Alaska: guard your children from Ben Colder who would force his homophobic

        • Previously you said children should be guarded from their own parents. Yes, let the sexual deviants guard the children from their “zealous, religious, bigoted, ignorant parents.” This is why parents need to get their children out of government schools controlled by sexual deviants. NOW! It’s about priorities, parents.

    • SCOTUS has already ruled and any minor child under the age of 18 is under the authority of their parents.

      • And yet their parents do not have the authority to cause them harm. Conversion therapy is harmful.

        • Conversion Therapy is only harmful if your goal is propagating more homosexuals. What is harmful is the continuing support of child abuse by the LGBT community. Children who question their sexual identity and want to change it with their parent’s permission should be allowed to have the counseling services available – from either direction. This is called freedom, and with parental help, ensures the best possible outcome. The shrill advocacy from the LGBT crowd shows their unease with themselves – to quote Shakespeare, “Me thinkest thou protesteth too much.” Chill folks, this is a seriously bad piece of legislation.

          • I agree with you. The sexual deviants want more than full access to children’s minds, which they have for 10,000+ hours of their most impressionable years at government schools. Now the perverts want to prevent parents from getting their own children help for unwanted and unhealthy same-sex attractions, which they are being encouraged to embrace at public school.

  • This ordinance should be challenged on its face as unconstitutional. The confidentiality and communications between client and therapist must not be breached. These wacko Assembly members cannot dictate how a therapist and her client can discuss ANYTHING. These Assembly persons need LOTS of therepy and antipsychotic medication. These folks are messed up!

    • You call them wacko, I call them deviant, wicked, and evil. Anyone who attacks the well-being of children through sexual abuse deserves public scorn of the highest order. Parents need to remove their children from the sexual abuse occurring at public schools where vulnerable children are being groomed for sex by adults. Stop giving them the hostages! Your children are worth the inconvenience and expense of educating them yourselves.

  • They actually use the Anchorage Press article as justification. The Anchorage Press, a well known Marxists Propaganda rag. LOL! Next will be the recognition as Pedophilia as a recognized sexual orientation deserving protection, after all it is traumatic for Pedos to be treated as sexual deviants.

    • Associating homosexuality with pedophilia is a decades long homophobic trope. It’s just wrong.

      • Research done at Universities of Texas -Austin, Wisconsin-Madison, and Florida show the link of childhood sexual abuse and the formation of the brain wave pattern that leads to homosexual desire. More research: Lisa Littman – Brown University 2018 – shows homoexuality as a social contagion and maladaptive coping mechanism.
        For some science showing conversion therapy is effective and not harmful: journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0024363918788559

        More can be found if one has the desire to look.

        “But that’s hate speech!” – Not at all. It’s all the love and compassion for hurting people we can possibly muster. For those who are content with their perceived sexual orientation, no one is trying to change you – just leave the kids alone and let them grow up without all this challenge to try LGBT lifestyles.

        Testimonies: oncegay.com

      • He wasn’t associating homosexuality with pedophilia. He was pointing out that Pedophilia is a “sexual orientation” and based upon the moral virtue of “nondiscrimination,” it is must be wrong to discriminate against Pedophilia. In fact, the argument has already been made.

    • It’s already happening. Pedophilia is merely another “sexual orientation” in a long list of other sexual deviancies we’re not supposed to “discriminate” against. Because children are being groomed for sex by sexual predators in public school, the sexual perverts in the government need to prevent parents from getting help for unwanted and unhealthy same-sex attractions their vulnerable and impressionable young children are encouraged to embrace behind closed doors where parents aren’t allowed. Government knows best.

  • This law is not unconstitutional. Twenty states along with seventy-four city, municipality, or communities have done the same. It has held up in court. It is clearly stated in the ordinance what is banned and is not confusing. Please read the ordinance linked on this article. This is a protection of minors because trying to tell minors that they should not be feeling the way they do serves to alienate and induce shame for feelings out of their control. If you feel the homosexuality or gender identity issues are immoral and that children should be made to reject how they feel, you are doing them harm. I understand the from a religious point of view that homosexuality is immoral because of how it is represented in the Bible. The Bible also condones slavery. We have laws to protect people from that as well. The view that it is immoral for religious or any other reason does not afford the right to cause harm.

    • The Bible does not condone slavery – it does acknowledge that slavery was part of the culture during the time of its writing. The Bible does encourage owners and their slaves to free them.
      Bad analogy – it shows us that you are grasping for a reasonable argument, repeating something you’ve been told, and ignorant of the source.

      • Ephesians 6:5: “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ.”

        If that does not condone slavery then by all means references to homosexuality should also be ignored. Either way the use of the bible to justify the oppression and alienation of LGBTQ is just not okay.

        I do not claim to know why so many people condemn homosexuality. Many refer to the bible. It just seems to me that those that condemn it do not understand it, thus choose to vilify.

    • This is about protecting and empowering adult, sexual perverts who want unfettered access to children. How a child should or shouldn’t feel is up to the parents, not perverts like you, government employees, or sexual predators seeking to have their way with vulnerable children. Encouraging impressionable children to embrace homosexuality, to teach that cross-dressing is normal, or self-mutilation is healthy is causing great harm to children. I hope your pervert-sympathizing comments are a wake-up call to all parents to promptly remove their children from public school where their unguarded children are being groomed for sex by adult sexual predators, who believe they know better than parents what’s in the best interests of their children.

  • If you feel the heterosexuality or gender identity issues are immoral and that children should be made to reject how they feel, are you doing them harm?
    .
    The view that it is immoral for religious or any other reason does not afford the right to cause harm should apply to genital mutilation of children, yes?
    .
    If we accept this is a protection of minors because trying to tell minors that they should not be feeling the way they do serves to alienate and induce shame for feelings out of their control, then it seems reasonable to accept that trying to tell minors they should not be feeling the way they do about anything is inappropriate, yes?

    • You can’t be reasonable with godless perverts who seek to destroy all that is good and true. These adult, sexual predators want unfettered access to unguarded children. Period. They will not stop until they get it. You cannot reason with them. They are evil. If you have children, remove them from public school where they are being groomed by sexual perverts who will claim they know better than parents what’s best for children.

  • When they are referring to Conversion Therapy, does that include the therapy provided by Mrs. Falwell to a young man searching for the love of Jesus?

  • It’s just amazing what our society has denigrated into in a few short years. Speech is now controlled according to what transpires between a therapist
    and a sexually misfitted patient seeking help. This truly is the devolution of our times.

    • We can take back our society from the godless. But it requires standing for America as it was founded – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are CREATED equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
      Preamble to the Declaration of Independence
      Boldly call-out evil when you see it. Fear God, not men.

  • So just drive to the valley for the therapy. Easy enough. Also, quit electing leftists and communists. There you go. Two ways to solve the problem.

  • The law sets up a one-way ratchet, allowing transition only one direction. Apparently it goes parallel with a new sex ed curriculum in ASD designed to create sexual confusion. It will start in elementary school, kindergarten if they can get away with it. So by the time puberty kicks in in middle school, the kiddos start asking questions. AO 2020-65 only allows one set of answers.

    When the kiddos start asking questions, they will ask them from school counselors, who will get them in front of a medical professional who will be free to prescribe hormone therapy (chemical castration), counseling and even gender reassignment therapy (medical mutilation), all without either knowledge or participation of the parents of these minor children – just like they currently do with abortions in this state.

    One of the reasons we have at least 4 LGBTQWTF on the Assembly is because that wasn’t supposed to matter. Now they have demonstrated that it most certainly does. Cheers –

    • Parents can stop giving the sexual predators the hostages. The children are worth it.

  • I thought the state made the laws not second rate mayors and assembly members who are openly one sided.

  • Parental rights are important to uphold. Minor children, those under 18, are under the authority of their parents.

    It’s not based upon feelings. Feelings change. Feelings are not what we base reality upon. Right? Some days your kids like you, some days they don’t. You, however, are still mom or dad.

    A child needs proper upbringing that is not based upon feelings that change with the winds. This is why alcohol and drugs are restricted for children, they affect the ability of the mind to function, and they cause all kinds of unsettling feelings that disappear the next day. The mind of a minor child is still developing and must be given proper direction.

    For a counselor to talk a child out of something is what they do. If the child turns 18, then he or she can decide.

    The Assembly really has stepped over their legislative limit.

    • Very well stated. Thank you. However, your sound reasoning will only resonate with parents and those who sincerely have children’s well-being in mind. Adult sexual predators, who groom children for sex in public schools, will not reason. They want full, unfettered access to children and they will stop at nothing to get it. It is time to take-off the gloves. Children’s lives are at stake. Parents need to immediately remove their children from harm’s way at public school. Don’t wait for reform. It’s not going to happen.

  • i feel sorry for free-loving citizens who live in the municipality who want to take care of themselves without government intrusion of all facets of their life. and i don’t care how “other states and cities” mandate social baloney. alaska is the last bastion of personal freedom….oh wait, i’m sorry, except for anchorage. which is why i will never visit or shop there.

  • To Regular Guy…. Most of us are regular guys. We’re scratching our heads thinking “wh-a-a happened?” We’ve pretty much lost our city while a minority can think only of their sexual preferences. And look what we’ve got. We have a shell of a city. That shell was developing long before the Wuhan virus came to our shores.

    Thanks to airplanes, new people came here the easy way….of course they would do it the easy way…and decided to establish Anchorage as the northernmost LGBTQ city in the United States.

    It’s a free country. Establishing Anchorage as a cool city to have sex is ok, but damnit, they keep causing so much trouble. They protest crap all the time.

    Yes, do stay away. Don’t blame you. I am soooo sorry Anchorage is now a city of strife/argument.

    I loved Anchorage!! Great people built and developed this city. What kind of people are now tearing it down?

    A very sad moment. The virus didn’t do it.

  • “Teleconferencing gear” is your telephone. If you can’t call into a posted telephone, number then that is your own fault. Be knowledgeable for your argument sake.

    • We should all peacefully protest and tear down the closed doors of the private meeting being held by adult, sexual predators conspiring how they can conjure-up legal, unfettered access to children.

%d bloggers like this: