The political left in much of America is certainly no fan of religious expression, particularly where religions like Christianity collide with one of their pet constituencies, the LGBTQ+ lobby. However, few states are willing to take that disdain for religious freedom as far as the state of California seems to be willing to go.
Now, the Democrat Party in California and its various members are pushing to rush through a bill that will allow them to target religious therapies undertaken entirely voluntarily, saying that they the state government has a ‘compelling interesting’ in doing so. In fact, the law is being fast-tracked and the wording destroys the fabric of American society and the Constitution. It would make it illegal to sell Bibles in the state.
This bill, Assembly Bill 2943, is designed to stop the sale of certain educational materials, and the legislation is just vague enough to be open for easy abuse by leftists across the state, who are more than happy to censor the religious and their rights.
However, it seems like a simple measure at first glance.
Introduced in February 2018 and with the title ‘Unlawful Business Practices; Sexual Orientation Change Efforts,’ it sounds like a bill designed to prevent business from selling electroshock conversion therapy to the LGBTQ+ community desiring treatment, or from selling people ‘anti-gay’ pills or other phony treatments for a quick buck.
However, the actual content of the bill target religious organizations and religious treatments for people who want to return to heterosexuality.
The summary of Assembly Bill 2943, though it does not outright mention religion, states that the bill is designed to define all sexual orientation ‘change efforts’ as unlawful practice, prohibited under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
It would also make it illegal to advertise, offer, or provide such services within the state of California.
Currently, law on ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ in the state of California is fairly rational. Anyone undergoing such treatment must be above the age of majority (18) if they undergo such treatment with a mental health provider.
Religions are free to provide services to those who wish to voluntarily undertake them.
AB 2943 begins with Section 1, which consists of 18 claims, mostly based in pseudo-scientific opinion papers, that push the leftist idea that LGBTQ+ individuals are completely natural, and that they should never seek to change their sexual orientation.
However, the last two subsections, subsections (q) and (r), are the most troubling.
Subsection (q) states that California “has a compelling interest” in protecting the well-being, both physical and mental, of LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s interesting that they should be singled out, as the state of California has a compelling interest in general to protect the well-being of its citizens.
However subsection (r), absent any evidence, claims that the state has a “compelling interest” in protecting its consumers from “false and deceptive practices that claim to change sexual orientation,” as well as having a “compelling interest” in protecting its citizens against alleged “serious harm” that can result from such practices.
Because of these ‘compelling interests’ that leftists concocted, the state of California wrote a law which, if passed, will outright ban any sort of therapy designed or claimed to change sexual orientation.
That means that religious books and conferences dealing with the idea of LGBTQ+ orientation modification would be banned, even church services.
According to Randy Thomasson, the head of SaveCalifornia.com, this bill would outright prevent anyone from being able to sell services to people seeking to change their sexual orientation.
Thomasson said that this law could even stretch to cover the selling of the Bible, which proclaims LGBTQ+ lifestyles to be an abomination.
However, he points out that this is more likely to be used to target “speakers, books, and videos helping people to get out of homosexuality and transsexuality.”
Both he and Anne Paulk, the executive director of the Restored Hope Network, suggested that the bill, first written in mid-February and amended in mid-March, is moving quickly through the legislature.
Paulk even suggested that the bill could be passed by as early as late May of this year.
Furthermore, she says that the intent of this bill was obviously to undermine the religious rights of churches in the state. She should know. She oversees around 60 ministries in the state that work with people who want to overcome their sexual attractions.
Paulk also said that they cannot hope that the United States Supreme Court will help them, either, as the court has repeatedly declined to hear similar cases.
The bill was written by California Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low, who is a member of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus and represents the extremely liberal 28th district, which includes South Bay and Silicon Valley.
Coauthors of the bill in the California Assembly include democrats Sabrina Cervantes, Susan Talamantes Eggman, and Todd Gloria, all of whom are also members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, and most of whom are openly homosexual.
In the California State Senate, the bill was co-authored by Toni G. Atkins, Cathleen Galgiani, Ricardo Lara, and Scott Wiener, all of whom are LGBT. Scott Wiener is of particular note, as he was the author of SB 239, which decriminalized knowingly transmitting HIV to a partner without disclosing the risk, and also wrote California’s ‘Soda Tax,’ which never made it into law.
In other words, not only are these people not interested in religious freedom, many of them are part of an organization dead-set against it, and most have a long history of supporting outright invasive legislation (such as legislation that decriminalized knowingly transmitting a walking death sentence in viral form) that destroys the Constitution.
California democrats hold supermajorities in both the state’s assembly and senate, making it likely that even without republican votes, they can force through this bill and take aim at religion once again.
This is further proof that California isn’t interested in freedom, but rather a movement toward Marxism.