Pro-family Californians won a stunning victory this morning, as an ominous bill that would classify many communications of Biblical sexuality as “consumer fraud” was scuttled on the last day of the California legislative session.
For months, Family Policy Alliance has been alerting our friends in California and working with our allies at California Family Council to oppose Assembly Bill 2943. The response from Californians has been phenomenal, with nearly 40,000 messages to lawmakers sent through the Family Policy Alliance Action Center alone. One state legislator reported receiving more than 2,500 phone calls opposing the bill.
The accomplishment of pro-family Californians in defeating this bill (for now) is remarkable, as it was the priority bill of the LGBT lobby, which holds a virtual headlock on the state legislature.
“The realistic goal was never to win a vote in the California legislature,” said John Paulton, who oversees mobilization for Family Policy Alliance. “It was to make it so controversial that leadership would recognize that passing it wasn’t worth the political uprising that they would have to face.”
Making AB 2943 controversial wasn’t difficult. It practically wrote the headlines on its own.
What made it so dangerous? It slapped the crime of consumer fraud on nearly any communication that 1) encourages someone away from homosexuality or transgenderism, and 2) involves a financial transaction.
This spring, many pointed out that AB 2943 could ban the sale of a Bible, which clearly calls people out of homosexuality. For example, addressing homosexuality and other sins, I Corinthians 6:11 says “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ… .”
That led lawmakers to exempt the sale of books. But they did nothing to exempt other forms of communication, such as counseling, conferences, retreats, classroom teaching at Christian colleges, etc. As a result, as others have observed, the state of California was on the verge of declaring the Gospel to be a fraud.
But the outpouring of opposition from California believers – many of whom had never gotten involved in public policy issues before – was overwhelming and made today possible.
While the celebration is sweet, Californians will need to be braced for another round. Although the bill was pulled for this year, the sponsor promised it would be back next year.
The implications of the ongoing battle run nationwide. For one, it’s a signal where the LGBT lobby is headed in other states. The ban on so-called “conversion therapy” for minors began in California in 2012 and has now spread to more than a dozen states. But as damaging as those bans are, they are just the beginning. AB 2943 reveals with crystal clarity the real goal of the LGBT movement throughout the country.
But on this great day, Family Policy Alliance thanks and congratulates the Californians who spoke up and made this happen – particularly the strong focus and leadership provided by our allies Jonathan Keller and Greg Burt at California Family Council.
“What a powerful affirmation this is that when people decide to get engaged, they can truly make a difference, even against incredible odds,” adds Paulton.