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A headline on alerts us to the latest in an ongoing series of similarly troubling stories: “Stalemate after Nebraska Health Board Rejects Conscience Compromise for Christian Psychologists.” According to the report:

Defying the recommendations of Nebraska’s top public health authority, the Nebraska Mental Health Practice Board has approved rules that could force Christian psychologists to refer clients with same-sex attraction seeking relationship therapy to professionals that support homosexuality. However, the chief medical officer has said she would not approve the new rules until a compromise is reached.

While still allowing psychologists to decline to offer services, the board followed the state Board of Psychology in rejecting a rules change that would allow psychologists not to refer clients to counseling encouraging immoral behavior.

Dr. Tracy Todd, the director of professional and public affairs for the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, says this: “I would argue you have the ethical obligation to find them [clients] an appropriate resource.” Fr. Christopher Kubat, the executive director of Catholic Social Services in southern Nebraska points out, however, that “It is stunning many do not understand why making a referral for a procedure or service considered immoral is itself immoral.” As Fr. Kubat’s insightful comment indicates, this is yet another small episode in the much larger battle over rights of conscience.

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