A bill threatening free speech and religious freedom is quickly moving through the California state assembly.
What’s it all about?
Assembly Bill 2943 (AB 2943) uses the state’s consumer fraud statute to penalize religious freedom and free speech on the issues of homosexuality and gender identity.
The bill adds “sexual orientation change efforts” to the state’s “Consumer Legal Remedies Act.”
How does this affect people of faith?
Both Scripture and Christian teaching are clear about God’s good plan for marriage and sexuality: God designed marriage to join one man and one woman in a committed, exclusive, lifelong relationship. Anything different is outside God’s design.
Under this misguided legislation, anyone who proclaims this truth or offers help for those with unwanted homosexuality or transgenderism – whether behavior, thoughts, identity or attractions – would be vulnerable to a lawsuit.
Who does this affect?
Our friends at the Alliance Defending Freedom have analyzed this legislation and determined that the bill could negatively impact:
- Christian counselors
- Bookstores (including online bookstores like Focus on the Family’s)
- Church conferences
- Medical and health care professionals
- Christian schools and colleges
For example, a simple monetary transaction – buying a book about overcoming homosexuality, or paying a counselor for help with gender confusion – would trigger AB 2943.
To put it simply, Christian schools, churches and others who hold to a traditional understanding of marriage and sexuality would be open to lawsuits for teaching biblical truth about homosexuality or transgenderism.
Our religious freedom is our first and foundational freedom, and as such, we must be vigilant to protect it. As Ronald Reagan said in his inauguration speech as California’s governor,
“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”
It’s one thing to have a genuine disagreement with someone about their deeply held religious belief. It’s a whole other thing, though, to penalize those who work to help others live out their faith.
I strongly encourage you to learn more about this legislation – and to take action by visiting our allied group, California Family Council.