Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Counseling group moves 2017 confab to SF due to anti-LGBT Tennessee law

American Counseling Association CEO Richard Yep

American Counseling Association CEO Richard Yep

The American Counseling Association is headed to San Francisco for its 2017 conference after pulling out of Nashville due to the passage of an anti-LGBT law by Tennessee lawmakers.

The legislation, HB1840/SB1556, permits counselors in the Volunteer State to deny services and refer clients based on the provider’s “strongly held principles.” In effect, it allows counselors to cite their religious beliefs in order to refuse to work with clients based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The counseling association says the law not only violates its code of ethics but denies services to those most in need. It announced in May that it would no longer hold its 2017 Conference & Expo in the state and sought proposals from other cities interested in hosting it.

“After thoughtful discussion, the ACA Governing Council made the difficult – and courageous- decision on behalf of our membership. Of all the state legislation I have seen passed in my 30 years with ACA, the new Tennessee law based on Senate Bill 1556/House Bill 1840 is by far the worst,” stated the group’s CEO Richard Yep, at the time, who also posted a video to explain the decision.

After receiving 13 bids from other cities, the ACA announced Monday, June 13, that it had selected San Francisco as “the best option.” The group estimates it will bring in $5 million in revenue to the city and the Bay Area as a whole.

The Pre-Conference Learning Institutes will be held from March 15-16, 2017 with the ACA 2017 Conference & Expo immediately following from March 16-19, 2017. Both events will be held at the Moscone West Convention Center.

“This is a historic time for ACA as we have never had to make a decision like this before. We believe that San Francisco will be an enjoyable and active city for our conference,” stated Yep. “This change signals that we are committed to serving our diverse members and helping them provide the support their clients need.”

For more information, visit the ACA 2017 Conference & Expo website here.

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 15, 2016 @ 11:25 am PST
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