Licensing Parents

During a subcommittee meeting Thursday while debating new regulations for family home child care, while responding to the fact that parents don't need government licensure to watch their own children, state Senator Barbara Favola (D-31, Arlington) stated, "That's unfortunate." Thus is the mindset of the liberal elitist class in Richmond. Unfortunately, this nanny state philosophy is creeping up in legislation across the board this year, including bills introduced by Republicans that could potentially force small family day homes to be regulated by the state.

While the legislation Senator Favola was advancing was being discussed, in other committee rooms, bills that would have inserted the government into the relationship between parents and their children were being debated. In the Senate Education and Health committee, a bill that would have prohibited licensed counselors from providing therapy for kids under 18 with unwanted same-sex attraction was debated. The fact that thousands of people have overcome same-sex attraction through therapy and counseling is a threat to the secular liberal narrative that one can’t change their sexuality. The committee, however, heard testimony from two people who did just that.

The Family Foundation testified that the bill likely violated both the first amendment and Virginia law. Since the bill is targeted at denying counseling to kids, we argued that it conflicts with a state law that says “parents have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning” their children. State Senator Steve Newman (R-23, Forest) agreed, saying that the General Assembly had never done anything similar that would deny someone a right to any type of counseling or violate parental rights. Senator Tom Garrett (R-22, Louisa) expressed his opinion that the bill violated the free speech rights of a counselor to express an opinion within the context of their practice.

After debate, the committee rejected the bill along party lines, 8-7. Earlier in the morning, a House subcommittee heard the House version of the same proposal, but withheld voting until a later meeting.