Morgan Fox at Queer Action Network has given us an update on the State of Tennessee’s inspection of Love In Action/Refuge. Coverage prior to this date has been somewhat confusing and there seemed to be no clear answer as to whether Tennessee found LIA/R to be outside compliance with state law.
News reports seemed to agree that the drug counseling aspect of LIA/R would be discontinued but it was uncertain whether LIA/R could restrict itself to its ex-gay conversion efforts.
However, it now appears possible that the issue related to “mental health supportive living facilities” which, at least to me, sounds as though it could include ex-gay counseling.
From the Governor’s office:
DMHDD staff met with Mr. John Smid, Executive Director of Love In Action, on August 19, 2005. Based on the meeting, it was determined that Love In Action is operating two unlicensed mental health supportive living facilities in Memphis.
The end result may be a cease and desist order for LIA/R:
If Mr. Smid does not respond by September 15th, licensure staff will revisit Love In Action, to determine if the agency is still operating the two homes. If the homes are still operating, licensure will recommend to the Department’s Commissioner that a cease and desist order be issued to Love In Action, in accordance with DMHDD Licensure Law.
We’ll be watching to see if Mr. Smid will be forced to cease his psychobabble and more truthfully sell his conversion process as “faith healing”. I don’t object to Mr. Smid leading a house of prayer – or even a cult, if he wishes – but when he assumes the mantle of psychology, at least in Tennessee, it may be that he must conform to the conventions of psychology, including licensing.
Conversely, he may find some way of complying with state law. I suspect, however, that involves having trained staff with some amount of education in the field of mental health.