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Counseling Group Cancels Event Over New Law

Posted at 3:41 PM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 23:35:30-04

The American Counseling Association has canceled its upcoming conference in Nashville at the Music City Center, protesting the controversial counselor bill recently signed into law.

The law allows therapists to refuse patients based on their own personal beliefs. It has been highly criticized, for discriminating against the LGBT community.

Officials with the ACA published this statement on their decision Tuesday morning.

The original wording of the bill allowed a therapist to turn away clients based on the therapist’s “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Just 24 hours after signing the counselor protection bill into law, Governor Bill Haslam received backlash, and city leaders said there could be even more backlash for the city itself.

Last month, The American Counseling Association announced their consideration to move its annual conference from Music City Center to another location due to concerns the bill is discriminatory.

The group was set to visit Nashville in April and bring thousands of people and possibly millions of dollars to the local economy.

A statement on the group’s website said, “Important: in light of recent legislative actions in Tennessee, ACA is currently weighing options regarding the location of the 2017 Conference and Expo.  More information coming soon.”

A spokesperson for the group said they were weighing their options, but reports stated Tuesday that the group decided to cancel the Nashville event.