On Monday, the California state Assembly passed ACR 99, a resolution offering several opinions about the LGBTQ community and then concluding by asking religious leaders with “moral influence” to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism. The bill throws aside religious liberty and targets religious people and organizations under the guise that failure to agree with the LGBTQ lifestyle could cause “suicide and depression,” falsely placing blame where there shouldn’t be, in addition to several other fraudulent ideas.
The text of the resolution includes repeated philosophical and practical statements about human sexuality:
“The California State Legislature has found that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBTQ) is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming,” but most of the bill outlines the aversion the state Assembly supposedly has to “conversion therapy”:
WHEREAS, Practices or therapies that attempt to create a change in a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are often referred to as conversion therapy; and
WHEREAS, Some family, caregivers, and communities promote conversion therapy when a person is known or thought to be LGBTQ; and
WHEREAS, California law recognizes that performing conversion therapy on young persons is ineffective, unethical, and harmful; and
WHEREAS, Conversion therapy has been rejected as ineffective, unethical, and harmful by leading medical, mental health, and child welfare organizations in the United States.
What’s incredible about the repeated mentions to “conversion therapy” is that it’s been banned for minors since 2012. In fact, it’s been banned in several states. The bill, proposed by homosexual Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low, is the same politician who authored a similar resolution last year, but pulled it. Since conversion therapy is already banned, it’s likely that this resolution is meant to pave the way for penalizing religious communities in California, for standing up for what they believe in, a direct violation of their First Amendment rights.
Several doctors, counselors, activists, and other Christian leaders signed a letter condemning the resolution, which they said violates religious freedoms. No Seventh-day Adventists are signatories of this letter.
“Religious leaders have the constitutionally protected right to teach religious doctrine in accordance with their faith, and politicians have no right to tell clergy what is moral, dictate the content of their sermons, or instruct them in religious counseling,” they wrote.
In an analysis arguing against the bill, the Capitol Resource Institute echoed their sentiments,
"The issue at hand is one of choice. It is the goal of ACR 99 to eventually criminalize one's choice to seek counseling and other services should they disagree with sexual desires or urges they are experiencing or struggling with. People looking for change to fit internal desires of their conscience and heart should be free to find services, and ACR 99 Page 3 resources from counselors, schools, and faith-based organizations to help them achieve their desired goals and outcomes."
No word from the Seventh-day Adventist Religious Liberty department on this troubling but unsurprising resolution by a gay California Assemblyperson. If they condemn it, we will report on it.
Don’t wait up.