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Monday, March 26, 2018

Bill to Bar LGBTQ Discrimination Stokes New Nebraska Debate

Tess Williams
US News and World Report
Originally published February 22, 2018

A bill that would prevent psychologists from discriminating against patients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity is reviving a nearly decade-old dispute in Nebraska state government.

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln said Thursday that her bill would adopt the code of conduct from the American Psychiatric Association, which prevents discrimination of protected classes of people, but does not require professionals to treat patients if they lack expertise or it conflicts with their personal beliefs. The professional would have to provide an adequate referral instead.

Pansing Brooks said the bill will likely not become law, but she hopes it will bring attention to the ongoing problem. She said she hopes it will be resolved internally, but if a conclusion is not reached, she plans to call for a hearing later this year and will "not let this issue die."

The state Board of Psychology proposed new regulations in 2008, and the following year, the Department of Health and Human Services sent the changes to the Nebraska Catholic Conference for review. Pansing Brooks said she is unsure why the religious organization was given special review.

The article is here.