NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Humor website “Funny or Die” has released a parody tourism ad targeting a Tennessee bill that would allow private practice therapists to deny service based on religious beliefs.
The ad mocks the state’s “Made in Tennessee” tourism campaign, referring to the state as the “home of the latest anti-gay bills being pushed through state governments.”
The ad goes on to say if Governor Haslam signs the bill, tourists in the state can “sing a sad country song about your gay friends being refused counseling services,” “laugh at an effeminate child,” “enjoy live music – if we can convince anyone to perform here,” and “stare at the circus that has become our government,” using images and video from official state tourism advertisements.
The ad ends using the state’s slogan, saying, “The slowing of progress is Made in Tennessee.”
The American Counseling Association (ACA) says the bill is in direct violation of its Code of Ethics, which says a therapist must treat a patient regardless of religious affiliation unless a therapist feels like he/she doesn’t have the skill to treat the patient.
Tennessee would be the only state to allow counselors to refuse to treat patients if the bill is signed into law.
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.
The site has recently posted videos satirizing recent LGBT laws in North Carolina and Mississippi.
Legislators are also debating a bill that would require students to use the restroom that corresponds with their sex at birth.
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