Contact: Troy Stevenson
Executive Director – Freedom Oklahoma
firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 802-8229
Tomorrow, HB 1598 – a bill that prohibits state oversight and regulation of the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” will be heard in the Children, Youth, and Family Services Committee – chaired by bill author, Sally Kern. State and national professional organizations from the fields of social work, psychology, and medicine – including the Oklahoma Chapters of the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of School Psychologists, the American Counseling Association, the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma, The American Psychological Association, the Oklahoma Nurses Association have joined with Freedom Oklahoma, the ACLU of Oklahoma, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the Human Rights Campaign in condemning Rep. Sally Kern’s HB 1598. And will be providing in person and written testimony to the Committee.
In an amendment to HB 1598 (that has yet to be published online) Rep. Sally Kern’s bill now attempts to limit the use of physical pain and electroshock therapy on children. This amendment is a de facto admission that this legislation protects the perpetrators of child-abuse and prohibits State oversight and regulation that every other type of therapy is subjected to – essentially giving special rights to practitioners of an extremely controversial practice – considered disavowed by all major medical and psychological associations. While respected and evidenced practices are heavily regulated.
The following statement can be attributed to Freedom Oklahoma executive director, Troy Stevenson:
“When a legislator has to amend a bill because its previous version includes the carte blanche to inflict physical pain and electroshock therapy on children, you know we have a problem at the Capitol. Rep. Kern may have taken the overt right to physically torture a child out of HB 1598, but it still offer unprecedented protection to child-abusers – by removing the state’s oversight authority over licensed therapists. Our duty is to protect our youth, NOT to put them in harms way.”