Letters to the EditorNews

An Open Letter to President-elect Trump on LGBT Rights

We write to you as licensed mental-health professionals, in light of the recent defeat of a LGBT-rights protection clause in the House. Among our clients are Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. As world leaders elected to the highest offices of our land, your words and actions are rightfully held to the highest standard as they set an example for all of us who now look to you for leadership. We are concerned that respect for LGBT people is being challenged by your administration. In particular, Vice President Pence has been active in speaking out against the rights of the LGBT community.

We encourage you to allow the ethical guidelines of the medical profession to guide you in your legislation. The American Psychiatric Association recommends that “ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first do no harm.” This stance is shared by the nation’s leading professional medical, health and mental health organizations.

We will take deep exception to any and all comments and actions on your behalf that would maintain or exacerbate prejudices against people who are LGBT or members of any other minority group. Efforts must be taken to respect and protect our fellow Americans, especially those who are most vulnerable to societal prejudice and violence.

We look to you to embody and encourage all of us through your example of informed and tolerant leadership and policies. Thank you for your service. Just as we are proud of our chosen profession and dedicated to serving those seeking our help, we look to you to demonstrate your commitment to serving all Americans.

As leaders of the United States of America, we beseech you to not only exhibit equality and inclusiveness in your words and actions but also to pass legislation that would protect people who are LGBT from hate crimes and further our progress toward equal rights for all. This includes not appointing people as advisors who have exhibited discriminatory behavior toward minorities and also speaking out against violence against minority groups. We encourage our senators and representatives to also issue statements in support of their LGBT constituents.

Anna Belle Wood, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC); Kate Morrissey Stahl, MA, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); Taylor K. Evans, PhD, LCSW; Kelly Case-Simonson, PhD, Licensed Psychologist; Tara Weiszer, PhD, Licensed Psychologist; Michelle L. Farist HS-BCP; Devon Young, LPCC, NCC; Kate Woods, MA, LPC; Todd L. Love, PsyD, JD, LPC; Abigail S. Holbrook, MSW, LCSW; Tracey S Roberts, LCSW; William B. Warren, MS, LPC, MAC, NCC; Beverly Grant, LPC, CCADC; Kendall P. Weinberg, MEd, LPC; Claire Nichols Zimmerman, MSW, LCSW; Aline Robolin, MA, LPC; Susanna Rains Moriarty, LPC, CRC; Alison Jedrick, LCSW; Melinda Hawley, MSW, LCSW; Laurie Wilburn Bailey, MEd, LPC; Suzanne Morgan, MSW, LCSW; Aaron D Kirkwood, LAMFT; Michelle Castleberry, LCSW; Ellen F Bargeron, LPC; Shea W. Squier, LCSW; Kim Turner, MEd, LPC, NCC; Sarah K. Chatfield, LCSW; Audrey Brannen, LCSW; Iain Halstead, LCSW; Leigh Ellen Magness, LCSW, RPT-S; Mary Elizabeth Trent, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist; Dorothy Boardman-Blocker, LPC; Alison Williams, LCSW; Savannah Smith, LCSW; Eleanor McMahan, PhD, Licensed Psychologist; Alison Jedrick, LCSW; Alice Huff, LCSW; Brendan A. Stephens, MEd, LPC; Amanda Dutton, LPC; Donna Slaboda, NCAC-II