By SHEILA BURKE and ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee's Republican governor said Wednesday that he signed a bill into law that allows mental health counselors to refuse to treat patients based on the therapist's religious or personal beliefs.
"As a professional I should have the right to decide if my clients end goals don't match with my beliefs — I should have the right to say somebody else can better serve them," Gov. Bill Haslam said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "Lawyers can do that, doctors can do that. Why would we take this one class of professionals and say you can't do that?"
The American Counseling Association called the legislation an "unprecedented attack" on the counseling profession and said Tennessee was the only state to ever pass such a law. Opponents say the legislation is part of a wave of bills around the nation that legalizes discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
This should go without saying. If men in the military can have facial hair and a headscarf or turban because of their religion than anyone should have the right to do or refuse anything based on religion. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. That's called discrimination folks. This is another reason why providing birth control insurance should not be mandatory for religious reasons.