- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington secretary of state says no one from her office will attend a national conference in Tennessee in part because of a bill signed by the governor there allowing counselors to refuse to treat patients based the therapist’s religious or personal beliefs.

Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman said in a statement Wednesday that after consideration she will not go to the National Association of Secretaries of State summer meeting.

She also cited the state primary election happening shortly after the meeting and modernizing state systems as reasons for her to stay in Washington state.

Supporters say the bill protects the rights of therapists and allows them to refer patients to more appropriate counselors. Opponents say the legislation is part of a wave of bills around the nation that legalizes discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

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