Concerns aired about Calif. sexual orientation bill

Monday, August 20, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward, Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

Calif. state sealMembers of the California Assembly could vote at any time on a closely watched controversial bill known as AB 2943.

AB 2943 declares that "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual" as illegal under state's consumer fraud law.

Sexual orientation change efforts are defined as "any practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation [and] this includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

National Review Senior Writer David French explained the law’s ramifications concerning goods and services earlier this spring – after the California Assembly passed the controversial bill.

“[T]he law would loom over booksellers and churches, establishing a chilling effect and providing a pretext for even more secular booksellers to refrain from stocking certain Christian titles – no matter how well-reasoned, well-researched, or well-argued,” French, who formerly served as a senior counsel for ACLJ and ADF, asserted in April in his commentary on National Review.

“It’s time for the California legislature to come to its senses and remember the Bill of Rights. The California Assembly has passed the bill. Now it’s in the California Senate’s hands. Perhaps more reasonable minds will prevail.”

California senators actually ended up approving the bill on Thursday by a vote of 25-11.

Shining more light on the law, Greg Burt of the California Family Council maintains that AB 2943 outlaws helping anyone with unwanted same-sex desires or gender confusion.

"California has gone rogue and redefined free speech," Burt told American Family Radio’s (AFR) Janet Mefferd Live program. "Any type of a church activity that involves a speaker's fee, a conference, a marriage retreat, paid counseling [or] resources that you would offer to people with same-sex attraction – [even] college courses – all of this will be made illegal."

The bill was sent back to the Assembly after minor changes were made – none of which eased concerns from groups such as California Family Council. As noted by French, the California Assembly approved the measure earlier this year.

"Attorneys have said this is going to be knocked down, but it's just going to be tied up in in the courts," Burt pointed out. "We cannot be silent. This is what silence gets you."

The legal expert urged all Americans to pay attention to this case – noting that there are similar efforts in other states.

"We don't know exactly when AB 2943 will come up, but it will have to be passed by the end of the month," Burt added. "The 31st of August is the last day bills have to pass before they get to the governor's desk."


Editor's Note: In original posting of this story, OneNewsNow identified David French as a senior counsel with ACLJ. He no longer serves in that capacity.

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