California State Assemblymember, Al Muratsuchi, said, “The First Amendment does not prohibit banning fraudulent conduct. The faith community, like anyone else, needs to evolve with the times.” (emphasis added).
During his speech on the California bill at Google headquarters, LGBT activist Samuel Brinton said he wanted to “figure out a way to stop” pastors and churches from offering counsel to help people change unwanted same-sex attractions. He went on to say, “I may not be able to FIND every little camp…every pastor, but I can make it something that is culturally unacceptable.” He added, “Yes, it’s directly affecting mental health professionals, but by proxy, it’s affecting everyone else.”
The Bible specifically refers to homosexuality 1 Corinthians 6:9. Then verse 11 states, “And such were some of you,” thus clearly stating that through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, people with same-sex attractions or who engaged in same-sex behavior can change. Advertising this passage or quoting it in a brochure would be considered fraudulent business practices under this bill.
This bill is a dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights and is a classic viewpoint discrimination. It declares certain kinds of speech as consumer fraud. A pastor, church or para-church ministry could be banned from holding a conference or selling books or videos about overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.
The California Assembly approved the bill and it now has two state Senate committees to go through before a floor vote. The Democrat-controlled California State Senate could pass AB 2943 in late May.
“California AB 2943 is a dangerous bill that would punish people for their biblical beliefs about marriage, gender and human sexuality” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This law is stunning in its breadth. The mask of those supporting this oppressive bill has been removed. Their goal is to crush Christianity and any viewpoint that does not align with the state. We stand ready to file suit to stop this assault on freedom if this bill is signed into law,” said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.