An Oklahoma legislator, Sally Kern has introduced a bill to protect parental religious rights to apply a religious exorcism service to youth called Conversion Therapy, HB 1598. February 24 and 25, Kern’s efforts posted as advancing in Oklahoma voting towards law.
Some states have outlawed such youth and young adult “programs” and have identified that this “therapy” action is detrimental to mental health and contrary to modern medical understanding. Mrs. Kern’s observations something like what the Planned Parenthood group noted in Texas, to be a gynotician? A logical segue in terminology of Mrs. Kern’s promotion, does not yet yield a Google search same.
A local provider of what many people call conversion therapy, is self-listed as a ministerial service, taking donations here in Oklahoma City in the 100+ office building of 1330 North Classen Boulevard, in the heart of Midtown. It is called First Stone Ministries, and is a member of The Restored Hope Network. FSM lists as a ministry. Not therapy. They employ no counselors of any kind, by state standards, and in fact use many not listed on the page as core service providers, who function as church member youth group chaperone counselors in a youth group might. No counselor, nor physician listed in the system.
First Stone Ministries does not have a definitive connection to a denomination. Therein, who is regulating this process on any front and why does Oklahoma law need to regulate religion like this? NASW’s Mary Jo Kinsey has identified comments in other news sources, but they don’t post on the state professional web page for social work.
Same posting theology from the Methodist theologian, John Wesley on their home page, blog by the Executive Director, Stephen Black. There is no indication if the Oklahoma United Methodist Church is aware of this as it implies affinities, affiliations or approvals. There is also no divinity education status, degree posting nor Reverend license of ordination, all of which the UMC require. Mr. Black, nor any of his staff post as holding professional degrees nor licenses in any denomination nor any state as professional counselors of any sort. (Another famous Oklahoman chronically held himself out to be a Methodist, Oral Roberts was never ordained nor accepted by the organized United Methodist Church, though he held himself out to be lifelong to much controversy.)
In Oklahoma, pastoral counseling or actually any counseling may be provided unfettered, as long as the person doesn’t hold themselves out as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Psychologist or Medical Doctor/Psychiatrist or Licensed Master’s level Nurse Practitioner.
The FSM ministry is not identified as a therapy program, or counseling program. It is not recognized by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and so in that it does not have to have accreditations from CARF or JCAHO or COANET. In order to be a therapy service, a multitude of baseline qualifications must be met by law in Oklahoma. Rock, paper, scissors on who can provide seemingly cannot be inserted by joining one random rule to an entire, federally and state regulated system of care.
The Restored Hope Network is a national union of pastoral services which attend the belief in application of corrective actions for sexual sin. This is per the listing includes brokenness comprised of things such as sexual abuse, porn addictions and particularly homosexuality. Their mission statement posts on the top right hand corner of the homepage, linking above two paragraphs in blue.
Perhaps Mrs. Kern had something else in mind as she shares with the Oklahoma legislature parental religious right.
Oklahoma has a variety of issues facing the Legislature regarding child sex abuse and maltreatment. This includes school employment issues for suspected sex offenders. and better education for school students and school systems on personal boundaries under Yes All Daughters. , HB 1362. No legislator or city government has approached issues regarding the multitude of sex assaults from city and state employees from 2014, nor Oklahoma’s ranking as 3rd in the nation in violence against women to death by partners with cooperative studies with the CDC or United Nations task forces for prevention of spectrum violence, including sex assault or sex abuse of any age or gender preference Oklahoman.