FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: International Healing Foundation Demands Answers from Md. Delegate CardinInternational Healing Foundation Demands Answers from Md. Delegate Jon Cardin
Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorneys to Investigate Defamation and Discriminatory Conduct
Bowie, MD -- International Healing Foundation (IHF), a non-profit therapeutic organization based in Bowie, Maryland is demanding answers from Md. Del. Jon Cardin, who recently introduced, then withdrew, HB 91, which proposed banning licensed mental health practitioners in Maryland from helping minor clients who seek to resolve unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA).
Since 1990, IHF has helped thousands of individuals with unwanted SSA and families struggling with sexual orientation, but on at least two separate occasions, Del. Cardin made defamatory statements about the organization in reference to HB 91. With the help of Garza Regan & Associates, Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorneys in Maryland, IHF is launching an investigation into Cardin's activities with Equality Maryland and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
"For nearly 25 years, IHF has been a beacon of hope in Maryland and around the world helping individuals conflicted about their sexual orientation. Our reputation is spotless in the state of Maryland. There has never been one complaint to the state licensing board over our therapeutic services. Why then, is Del. Cardin discouraging Maryland families struggling with homosexuality to seek help from us," commented Christopher Doyle, licensed clinical professional counselor and the Director of IHF. "Cardin's statements regarding our work with those who experience unwanted SSA is equivalent to discrimination. We support the rights of all clients, gay-identified and those who experience unwanted SSA – however, Del. Cardin's actions appear to be motivated by politics, not fairness for all Marylanders."
After withdrawing HB 91, Cardin publicly spoke against IHF and pledged to work with state boards that govern therapeutic practices to change administrative policies, but did not go into specifics as to what policies he would seek to change.
"Del. Cardin should not interfere with the business of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in order to appease Equality Maryland and others who seek to violate the rights of clients with unwanted SSA," commented Doyle. "It is outrageous that a state-elected official would discourage, or believe it's a problem, for a sexual minority population to pursue a therapy that is both legal and ethical," commented Doyle.
In a March 14 press conference, Cardin stated the need for increased regulation around Sexual Orientation Change Effort therapy for minors because of his view that changing sexual orientation is harmful, yet failed to provide any scientific evidence to back up his claims, nor could he point to any such minors in Maryland who have allegedly been harmed by a licensed mental health practitioner.
"Del. Cardin should speak with the countless adolescents and families who have been helped, not harmed, by IHF since 1990. His statements marginalize former homosexuals and clients in Maryland who have unwanted SSA and seek change through their own volition. Instead of persecuting them, Cardin should actually sit down with these individuals to see how he could truly serve them. Everyone should be able to pursue the life that feels right to them, and this effort to defame our work and discriminate against children and families who are simply trying to live out their sincerely held values and beliefs is wrong," commented Doyle.