Opponents also raised question about whether it would outlaw religious texts and ideas about sin, repentance, and transformation…
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A California bill that would have outlawed gender and sexual-orientation counseling — and portions of The Bible — was removed from the legislative docket on Aug. 31.
Assemblyman Evan Low, who introduced AB 2943, withdrew the bill after hearing from religious leaders and concerned citizens.
“The best policy is not made in a vacuum and in order to advance the strongest piece of legislation, the bill requires additional time to allow for an inclusive process not hampered by legislative deadlines,” Low wrote in a press release. “I am committed to continuing to work towards creating a policy that best protects and celebrates the identities of LGBT Californians and a model for the nation to look towards.”
The bill would have labeled so-called “gender conversion therapy” for gender dysphoria as “fraudulent” and “deceptive,” Pacific Justice Institute reported.
“We are immensely relieved that this latest threat to religious freedom in California has been taken away for at least this year,” said Brad Dacus, president of PJI.
Opponents also raised question about whether it would outlaw religious texts and ideas about sin, repentance, and transformation.
The Family Research council said it could ban any book that advocated a “Christian sexual ethic.”
“This should be a great encouragement to the faith community in California that active engagement with lawmakers can still make a difference,” Dacus said. “We will continue to be vigilant in battling similar legislation to ensure that the First Amendment remains robust.”
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected precedent that gave AB 2943 its legal standing, and it ruled that counseling and therapy bans could threaten the First Amendment.
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said his organization was ready to file a lawsuit against the legislation if it passed.
“I am glad that California legislators recognize the many people, including our Liberty Counsel clients, have personal experience with changing their unwanted same sex attraction and others who have professionally helped their clients to change, reduce, or eliminate same-sex attractions,” Staver said. “It is not the role of the government to intrude into the counseling clinic and dictate what a client should want!”