Look Who’s the Bully Now

I read an editorial opinion this week about the decision by various organizations sympathetic to the sexual license philosophy to “boycott” Tennessee because the Legislature passed a law that allowed professional counselors to make a referral if they could not, in good conscience, support or affirm a client or potential client’s desired therapeutic goals. In reading it, I came to a new understanding of what it means to be a bully.

To appreciate the editorial’s comment, which I’ll share in a moment, one has to appreciate the situation. The “counselors’ bill” does not allow a counselor to refuse counsel to a person because of their sexual beliefs. The law still says, “Counselors do not condone or engage in discrimination against prospective or current clients . . . based on . . . gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital/partnership status . . . .” So any implication that a counselor can say, “Oh, you enjoy sex with persons of your own sex. Go away,” is wrong.

Further, the law still says a counselor can’t drop a client like a hot potato if, during counseling on a particular issue, the client’s sexual practices are revealed. The law says, “Counselors do not abandon or neglect clients in counseling. Counselors assist in making appropriate arrangements for the continuation of treatment, when necessary.”

It is only when the client has a therapeutic goal that the counselor cannot, in good conscience, help the client achieve that the law kicks in. Even then, in keeping with the new law and the preceding paragraph, the counselor must facilitate a referral to another counselor.

However, the sexual license community, which often uses the acronym LGBT, thinks the law is “targeted” at them. They must think that the only goals for which persons might seek a counselor’s help relates to their sexual practices or their sexual identity. And in any event, certainly no counselor would have a problem helping a client achieve the therapeutic goal of getting comfortable with an act of jihad, euthanizing a spouse, or overcoming nagging guilt over intense anti-Semitic feelings, all possible therapeutic goals a client could have. Perhaps knowing no counselor would have a problem with those therapeutic goals explains why neither ISIS, the Hemlock Society, nor neo-Nazi organizations, respectively, have objected to the new law or threatened boycotts of Tennessee.

So the sexual license crowd decided to boycott the state to “punish” the state economically for targeting them. That’s fine. That’s their prerogative. Now for what the editorial said.

It was this sentence regarding the Legislature’s “who cares?” response to those boycotts and threatened boycotts by the sexual license crowd that caught my eye: “By pulling out of Nashville, these professional organizations have empowered the bullies.”

What? The Merriam-Webster dictionary says that a boycott is an activity designed “to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions.” Sounds to me like boycott is a nice word for a “bully.” But does this now mean that one is a bully for not responding positively to a bully’s demand?

Perhaps the editorialist might not have been referring to the Legislature’s response to the bullying by the sexual license crowd. Maybe he only meant that the Legislature was a bully for not forcing counselors to violate their conscience. But that sounds like what a bully would try to do, too.

Either way, it now appears that those who resist a bully or respect another person’s conscientious convictions are bullies.

If that’s what it now means to be a bully, then Target, which has refused to bow to the boycott of its stores and tells me I must violate my convictions regarding sexuality and privacy if I want to shop in their stores, is now a bully.

I can’t wait to read the editorial that condemns Target as a bully for not going back to its old bathroom policy that designates bathrooms based on biology instead of psychology. But I have a feeling I’ll be waiting a long time for that editorial.

David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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