In this case, psychologists and social workers told the senators the bill violates the American Psychological Association’s code of ethics and therefore jeopardizes the accreditation of Tennessee’s psychology graduate programs.

Not only that but “we don’t have an identified problem in Tennessee that this legislation will fix,” said Rebecca Smith, chair of the MTSU Department of Social Work. “We’re not able to cite a recent incidence where a student has refused to counsel a client or a client group based on religious belief.”

“It is our goal to teach the student how to be accepting of the client even when they cannot accept the client’s behavior. Much like the Good Samaritan, we do not pass by the individual in need because of an ideological difference.”