Bill to let counselors deny services on the way to Gov. Haslam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A Tennessee bill that would allow mental health therapists to turn patients away based on the counselors’ religious beliefs and personal principles has passed and is on its way to the governor.

The American Counseling Association says Tennessee would be the only state to allow counselors to refuse to treat patients if the bill is signed into law.

Previous story: Tenn. Senate: OK to deny counseling due to religious beliefs

The measure is part of a wave of legislation across the country that opponents say legalizes discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Supporters say it takes into account the rights of everyone.

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters last week that he can “understand the reasoning” behind the bill but wanted to see the final version before he decides whether to sign it into law.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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