By Mary Mack
Two assembly bills have been introduced in Sacramento which seriously threaten our First Amendment rights and freedoms. This should concern Americans in every state, for California sets the standard for progressive laws that are usually adopted across the nation. AB 2119 and AB 2943 will be voted on by the California Senate when it returns from summer recess on August 6, 2018. If passed, these two laws will discriminate against Christians, Muslims, and Jews on the basis of their religious beliefs, and will deny them certain rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.
AB 2943 is sponsored by the California Legislative LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Caucus in Sacramento and was introduced on February 16, 2018. (A caucus is a group within an organization or political party which meets independently to discuss strategy or tactics.) AB 2943 will amend the sections of the Civil Code relating to unlawful business practices. Violators will be prosecuted under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which “makes unlawful certain unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result, or which results, in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer.”
California sets the standard for progressive laws that are usually adopted across the nation. If AB 2119 and AB 2943 are passed, these two laws will discriminate against Christians, Muslims, and Jews on the basis of their religious beliefs, and will deny them certain rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.
Through enactment of AB 2943, the Legislature proposes to “include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”
The preamble to this bill contains the following declaration: “Contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness.” Then follows a list of quotes from various organizations which purport to support this arbitrary claim, but which contain no actual scientific findings. Therefore, the premise of this entire bill is faulty.
The danger to our rights and freedoms are very real, however. The California Family Council website has a plethora of reference materials and legal briefs from legal organizations around the country which have analyzed AB 2943 and found it to be unconstitutional. This bill impacts the commercial activities of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, making it illegal for anyone to express God’s position on homosexuality wherever money changes hands. It will restrict the free expression of ideas in the marketplace. It will ban the sale of religious texts, muzzle Christian/Jewish/Muslim counsellors from helping clients change their homosexual orientation, shut down websites and newspapers that print or share blogs and articles that advocate God’s view on homosexuality, ban conferences, classes, and novels that oppose homosexuality, as well as all advertising for such goods and events.
The text of AB 2943 is so vague that LGBT activists can sue for an infinite number of perceived offenses. Journalists will not be allowed to report objectively on the issue since they will be banned from printing the statements of defendants in the avalanche of lawsuits that are bound to follow such legislation. Not because Christians are defiant and lawless, but because this law will force them to practice their religion outside the law; in effect, AB 2943 will turn Christians into criminals. It will force us to choose between God’s law and man’s law.
The second bill being considered by the California Legislature is AB 2119, introduced on February 8, 2018, and sponsored by Todd Gloria of the LGBT Caucus. This purpose of this bill is to make taxpayer-funded “gender affirming health care and behavioral health services” available to children in foster care. The intent of the bill is to provide transgender or gender non-conforming (TGNC) children in the foster care system with “interventions to suppress the development of endogenous secondary sex characteristi