Personal and Professional Discord: Examining Religious Conservatism and Lesbian-, Gay-, and Bisexual-Affirmative Counselor Competence


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Markus P. Bidell, Department of Educational Foundations and Counseling Programs, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 605 Park Avenue, #W1017, New York, NY 10065 (e-mail:


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) orientations can evoke strong reactions that are often based on personal beliefs that seemingly conflict with professional standards calling for LGB-affirmative counseling. This study examined the relationship between religious conservatism and LGB-affirmative counselor competence. Controlling for education level, political conservatism, and LGB interpersonal contact, the results indicate that, as religious conservatism increased, LGB competency significantly decreased. The strongest predictor of LGB-affirmative counselor competency was religious fundamentalism, whereas multicultural course work was not a significant predictor.