How the Oregon "Conversion Therapy" Law Violates ADA
ABSENT INTENT OR AUTHORITY AS LEGAL ADVICE.
Oregon passed a “Conversion Therapy” prohibition a while back.
The complete text can be found here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2015R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2307
The law includes a prohibition against conversion therapy:“‘Conversion therapy’ means providing professional services for the purpose of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, including attempting to change behaviors or expressions of self or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.” (emphasis added)
Because the phrase in bold is followed by an “or”, it is a standalone act. “Attempting to change behaviors or expressions of self” is specifically covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
I’ll list these protections, and then cover them more fully.
First, there is the aiding and encouraging of another in the exercise and enjoyment of rights held under the ADA.
Second, there is the mention of “learned behavioral modifications” that is covered by the ADA. I’ll go ahead and cover that here in this section. Learned behavioral modifications are in all three titles of the ADA, listed as a mitigator for disability. In Title III, which includes therapists, as a public accommodation, it is here: 28 CFR §36.105(d)(4)(iv).
Regarding “aiding and encouraging.” The state is prohibited from coercion, intimidation, threats, or interference with one who is “aiding and encouraging” another in the exercise of rights under the ADA. A therapist falls squarely in this definition. To limit how they aid and encourage, in a way that annuls or limits disability rights is discrimination. I’ll explain how this is discrimination more in number three below.
Therapists are required to not discriminate against those who are seeking equal access (for any civil rights related issues) to their services. The State cannot discriminate either, when it comes to disability access.
The state, in this same law, confuses the matter with more linguistic legerdemain.
The law says “(B) ‘Conversion therapy’ does not mean: (i) Counseling that assists a client who is seeking to undergo a gender transition or who is in the process of undergoing a gender transition; or (ii) Counseling that provides a client with acceptance, support and understanding, or counseling that facilitates a client’s coping, social support and identity exploration or development, including counseling in the form of sexual orientation-neutral or gender identity neutral interventions provided for the purpose of preventing or addressing unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices, as long as the counseling is not provided for the purpose of attempting to change the client’s sexual orientation or gender identity.” (emphasis added).
There’s a lot to unpack here.
Question: If “Gender” is “fluid”, then isn’t everyone, at all times, in the process of undergoing a “gender transition”? I mean, either gender is fluid, or it is not. something fluid is always in fluidity. Words are fluid, yes? So if a therapist specifically “assists a client who is seeking to undergo a gender transition or who is in the process of undergoing a gender transition”, that would identically mean everyone, if you subscribe to the notion that gender is fluid. You don’t even have to “seek” to undergo a transition. According to gender cult followers (GCFs), gender is fluid, so EVERYONE is in the “process of undergoing a gender transition,” according to GCF ideology.
The disturbing reality is that the definition of “gender fluid” is also fluid. All of the GCF ideology is without a static position, which accomplishes the goal of confusion.
Adding this to kids who are more vulnerable is to take advantage (abuse) the confusion as a tool to easily point toward a GCF conversion.
The absurdity of this is that the state, in this law, prohibits therapists from a very fluid and ambiguous set of parameters, while simultaneously allowing teachers, school staff, volunteers, and others to freely discuss gender fluid ideology and fails to prohibit them from “attempting to change behaviors” related to the GCF beliefs.
The real irony of this law is that it allows counseling for gender transition, which, by logic, would include DE-transitioning, or transitioning back to the original or different version. (The state doesn’t exclude this.) So if someone is in the process of undergoing a gender transition that is opposite the norm, this law allows therapy for and allows the therapist to assist in that. Duh, that’s conversion therapy.
A law that prohibits “attempting to change” (read: “aiding or encouraging”) someone to specifically move toward accessing the ADA by changing “behaviors or expressions of self” to have access to the ADA, is by operation, discriminatory.
The ADA is written for those who have disabilities. People who have trouble navigating the landmines of expression, existence, identity, are ALL in need of help. Therapists encourage. Therapists attempt to change behaviors, by suggesting, and even “facilitating” behavioral modifications, which is covered under the ADA.
What is “facilitating identity development” under this law? No one knows, except that “legal identity” has a play in this. That this is not defined, means this term is also “fluid.”
I have social communication disorder, which means that meanings are important to me. If one wanted to cover their ass, they could write the governor of Oregon, who signed this law into effect, and ask for specific, static, complete, and permanent meanings of each and every word used in this law, so that claims of “intent” (an often required element of crimes) can be eliminated. If there is no static meaning to these terms, then there is also the absence of implied intent in breaking them. Just sayin’…
Regarding pedophilia, transsexuality, transvestitism, and gender dysphoria, and other sexual disorders being specifically excluded by the ADA (See 42 USC §12208 and §12211 <- linked), it is discriminatory to prohibit a therapist to encourage someone to avail themselves of the benefits of the ADA, by “converting” to non-pedophilic, non-transsexual, non-transvestite, or absent gender dysphoria. The DSM-5 has a requirement for 6 months of classification before gender dysphoria can be diagnosed. (See THIS article) That has caused the GCF to invent a term of “rapid onset gender dysphoria", which is NOT supported by the DSM-5.
The thing is, if someone has these conditions that are NOT covered by the ADA, enacting a law that prohibits a Therapist from “attempting to change behaviors or expressions of self” that would result in access to the ADA is discriminatory.
Consider this scenario:
A law that purports to prohibit “attempting to change” someone from Group A, which has no rights under the ADA, to Group B, which has rights and protections under the ADA, is plainly- WHACKED. Besides, there is federal law that prohibits interference with the aid and encouragement or exercise and enjoyment of rights under the ADA. A therapist that is prohibited by state law from encouraging (attempting to change) someone’s position from UNprotected to PROTECTED under the ADA, is a protected activity for the therapist, and the state law appears to be directly in conflict with this.
A state, or other person cannot limit the “aid and encouragement” that helps someone exercise rights under the ADA. I know of no case law that supports the state’s position.
A state cannot prohibit a therapist from suggesting or assisting with learned behavioral modifications to mitigate disabilities.
A state cannot prohibit someone from even encouraging another to “change” into a group that has protection under federal law. That’s just absurd.
P.D., JAY V SHORE, as Certified ADA Advocate