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Last week, the California Senate gave party-line approval to Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99, a resolution demanding people of faith in the state change how they teach, preach, and counsel others related to LGBT identities and behaviors. Authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), ACR 99 condemns pastors, counselors, and religious workers who offer compassionate support to the fellow Californians struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion.
Most shockingly, ACR 99 goes so far as to blame the so-called “stigmatizing beliefs” of these individuals and organizations for the high rates of depression and suicide in the LGBT community. The resolution was a direct follow up to last year’s AB 2943 which California Family Council worked to defeat due to similar constitutional concerns. We strongly encourage you to read ACR 99 for yourself.
Senators - Flaws - ACR - Attack - First
Thankfully, several senators recognized the serious legal flaws ACR 99, particularly its attack on the First Amendment. Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) stated that even though the resolution didn’t have the force of law, “we are treading into freedom of speech territory that I think should concern all of us. When an individual seeks therapy or guidance before a religious leader, whether it be a mosque, a temple, or a church, that’s a private setting…To disallow or create the pathway where we tell individuals they can not say certain things should give us pause.”
Senator John Moorlach (R-Irvine) rose to warn legislators of the clear religious liberty implications of the legislation. He acknowledged that he does not support all of the counseling methods sometimes categorized as “conversion therapy.” But, “how can we foreclose on spiritual counseling when someone is on a journey and honestly inquiring about wanting to change and wants professional assistance?” Moorlach asked his fellow senators.
Senators - ACR - Platform
Sadly, other senators used ACR 99 as a platform to attack former...
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