Could California pastors be charged with a crime for using Christian doctrine to help someone leave homosexuality? This could be the case if a new Golden State bill, AB 2943, becomes law. Making matters worse, some critics claim it could even be used to impede sales of the Bible.
California, 11 other states, and D.C. already ban “reparative therapy” — which seeks to eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction or feelings of “gender” identity — for minors. The new bill, however, applies to adults as well and would prohibit not just therapists but anyone from offering such aid. It’s gold-plated hypocrisy: The same people who allow a physician to help a person “change his sex” (not actually possible), a quality certainly inborn, want to make it a crime to help someone change his sexual feelings — in the thinking that they’re inborn.
Yet AB 2943 goes further still and prohibits efforts to change even behavior. As National Review’s David French explains, if, for example, “a sexually active gay man or woman sought counseling not to change their orientation but rather to become celibate, then the services and goods provided in that effort would violate this statute.”
The dire warnings about the bill have been portrayed as conservative scaremongering, but no less a liberal entity than the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board has also sounded the alarm, writing:
The problem is that AB 2943 isn’t a regulation of licensed healthcare professionals. Rather, and oddly, it’s an amendment to a state law, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, dealing with fraudulent trade in goods and services. It would expand the definition of “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” for which consumers could sue to include “advertising, offering to engage in or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” And it would cover anyone who engaged in that practice.
Would that include churches or other religious groups that sold, advertised or even recommended books that propagated the idea that believers can use prayer to overcome “same-sex attraction”?
… Supporters of the bill scoff at this critique. A fact sheet provided by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), the sponsor of AB 2943, asserts that the bill “does not apply to the sale of books or any other kind of goods” and that the Bible “would absolutely not be banned.” Yet the bill itself makes no such declaration. And the existing Consumer Legal Remedies Act clearly applies to the sale of goods such as books, videos and other educational materials — including those sold by churches and other religious groups.
The aforementioned French, a very sober commentator writing at a quite tame publication, also makes the case that the bill would empower the government to ban certain Christian books.
And, for certain — just as with the targeting of Christian businessmen who refuse to be party to faux weddings — some of the bill’s boosters seem to know that the suppression of religious exercise is not an AB 2943 bug, but a feature. Just consider Democrat assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s proclamation that the faith community must “evolve with the times” (video below).
Muratsuchi also claims that “the science is clear,” but it’s clear he knows nothing about science. He apparently supports “transgender” prescriptions, which involve biological alterations (so-called “gender-reassignment surgery) without proof of a biological problem, all dependent on a diagnoses made based on a psychological phenomenon — feelings.
There’s also no proof of a biological basis for same-sex attraction. In fact, English writer, radical feminist, and self-described lesbian Julie Bindel not only makes this point, she also says that homosexuality can be a choice (and that it certainly was for her — video below).
Homosexual social commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has made a similar case and has pointed out that many people have left homosexuality behind and appear quite happy (video below. Relevant portion begins at 3:30).
And below is a short AB 2943-inspired video of ex-homosexuals providing their testimonials.
In reality, though, the “inborn” argument is a con, completely irrelevant to the morality of a behavior or biological validity of a quality. Cleft lip, Spina bifida, Down syndrome, club foot, Tay-Sachs disease, and other abnormalities make clear that innateness doesn’t equal normality. And is it logical to consider the brain the one organ immune from naturally occurring imperfection? Note that the same psychologists telling us homosexuality is innate also say that psychopaths are born and not made. Now, if some people were born with homicidal instincts, would it be all right for them to commit murder? And if we could alter a psychopathic mindset, would we not do it?
Homosexuality is no different. Whether or not the behavior is immoral and the feelings disordered has nothing to do with the latter’s origin (nature or nurture), as genetics does not determine morality. Saying otherwise is to eliminate morality and replace it with biological determinism, which reduces man to animal. As for changing suboptimal biologically induced phenomena, that is something we often do when possible. So assuming, for argument’s sake, that homosexuality is inborn, why would it be an exception?
But it certainly is treated as one. After all, there are a multitude of deviations from normal sexuality: bestiality, pedophilia, and countless “paraphilias” (noticeably harmful or obsessive fetishes) exist, such as deriving sexual excitement from vomit, being an amputee, drinking blood, being robbed, and stuffed toy animals. Californians can, presumably, still seek therapy to alter the feelings related to these anomalies, so why the special carve-out for homosexuality? Is the Velvet Mafia really just that, a criminal syndicate that you can join but never leave?
Of course, we may wonder how much leftists believe their own sexual-devolution rhetoric. After all, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane MacCray, has been described by mainstream-media publications as a “former lesbian.” Shouldn’t they emphasize how she must now be “living a lie”? Or are the laws of the sexual devolution just for the little people?