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Tennessee Gov signs dangerous bill to let counsellors turn away LGBT patients

Joseph McCormick April 27, 2016

The Governor of Tennessee has signed into law a bill which will allow licensed counsellors to turn away LGBT patients.

HB 1840 was signed into law today by Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who earlier this month vetoed an anti-trans ‘bathroom bill’.

But as reported in the Advocate, the new bill, which has been universally condemned by medical professionals, celebrities and rights organisiations, was signed into law by Haslam.

“Denying anyone vital mental health services simply because they’re LGBT isn’t just outrageous, it’s outright dangerous,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement.

“What’s clear, however, is that legislative attacks that target LGBT people are bad for business. Sadly, the bedrock of Tennessee’s economy — the record companies of Nashville — remained silent throughout the fight to pass this discriminatory law. It’s time that they join the growing chorus of Americans demanding an end to discrimination.”

It is feared that the bill could mean many LGBT people in Tennessee struggle to receive treatment for mental health issues, but issues faced by those living in non-urban settings are the most worrying.

As with other states such as North Carolina and Mississippi, Tennessee could now face losing federal health funding, it has been noted, given that the bill conflicts with federal anti-discrimination mandates.

In September, a hardware shop in the Republican led state tried to attract attention by selling ‘no gays allowed’ hats.

To the surprise and delight of many, Tennessee also recently announced plans to make a supernatural thriller its new official state book…

More: bill haslam, mental health, Tennessee, US

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