Over the weekend, Governor Cooper continued his usage of executive power to attack religious liberty by enacting an executive order that prohibits conversion therapy for some children who are experiencing unwanted same sex attraction or gender dysphoria. Cooper’s executive order applies to any type of medical or mental treatment for children under the age of 18 “that applies to the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
This executive order is one of the most blatant attacks of this Governor on the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It also violates the Fourteenth Amendment rights of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their own children. Essentially, reading the Bible would be a violation of the Governor’s executive order if funds under his control were paying for a child’s healthcare.
The order only applies to families who receive Medicaid or Health Choice, because those are the only families over which the Governor has the power to make such a decision. As a result, it disproportionately impacts poor children who have no other means to pay for healthcare or therapy, even if they desire to deal with their unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. If Governor Cooper had his way, he’d prohibit every licensed counselor and therapist in the state from providing therapy to help cure unwanted same-sex attractions of both children and adults, just like California.
Governor Cooper attempts to justify his coercive executive order by appealing to discredited studies and comparing apples and oranges. He cites problematic studies done by Caitlin Ryan et al. which misleadingly confused parental acceptance with therapy, or whose participant samples intentionally exclude individuals who underwent sexual orientation change therapies or did not identify as LGBT. This is in addition to the problems with retrospective self-reports, convenience samples, etc.
NC Values Coalition opposes the predatory LGBT conversion tactics deployed by the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC, now advanced by Governor Cooper’s Executive Order. It's obvious Gov Cooper is seeking to raise more money for his re-election campaign in New York and San Francisco.
It is notable that the Governor's Executive Order only prohibits counsel in one direction—assisting a patient who desires to reduce same-sex attraction or achieve comfort in their God-given sex, while it doesn’t prohibit counsel that would affirm conversion to same-sex or transgender identities. All while the Governor's Administration funds Gender Unicorns and children's curriculum pushing children's books like Jacob's New Dress encouraging youth to question their gender and explore transgender and LGBT lifestyles.
It's hypocritical that Governor Cooper, on the one hand, proudly directs his administration to censor private conversations between a patient and his doctor or therapist yet staunchly vetoed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act because he thought saving a baby’s life would insert the government “between a woman and her doctor."
All Americans, secular and religious, deserve the right to private conversations, free from government censorship. As the U.S. Supreme Court noted in its 2018 NIFLA decision, ‘The people lose when the government is the one dictating which ideas should prevail.