CA legislator plans to introduce counseling ban again, hoping for pastor support

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Assemblyman Evan Low reportedly plans to introduce a revised ban on LGBT change efforts, including counseling, by the end of next month, with hopes of getting some evangelical support. Low pulled his bill, AB 2943, from consideration last August after some pastors indicated they would support a revised bill that protects churches. Yet according to a recent interview, Low said his new bill will not include an exemption for churches or religious organizations.

“We will not provide a religious license to discriminate,” Low told the Bay Area Reporter in a Jan 11th article. “Some say, ‘Why not insert language so Christians are exempted?’ Just like there should not be a religious exemption to deny me from being served in a restaurant, we will not provide a blanket guide to discriminate.”

Ironically, AB 2943 didn’t protect those with LGBT identities from discrimination, but took away their freedom to choose for themselves the counseling and resources they want. The bill would have made churches liable to lawsuits if they charged a fee when advocating for their biblical beliefs about sexuality. Specifically, the bill banned counseling, conferences, and other fee-based resources if they included historic Christian theology related to gender and sexual orientation.

For the past several months, Low as been working with evangelical pastors and educators who showed interest in a revised bill. One of those individuals is Azusa Pacific University chaplain Kevin Mannoia, the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Last year, Mannoia wrote a confusing editorial for the OC Register, indicating he didn’t like some change therapy methods: “Reparative therapy is without evidence as to its efficacy and is inconsistent with Christian living.” Yet Mannoia also affirmed the Biblical view of marriage and sexuality, and the ability of God to change people. Low has repeatedly said he wants to ban all sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, including biblically motivated ones.

Low interpreted Mannoia’s editorial as a reason to withdrawal his bill and work on getting other evangelical leaders to support a modified alternative. A new bill must be introduced by late February. There are serious doubts a compromise is possible. Time will tell.

(12) Comments

  1. It is time for pastors to be bold and stand up for our faith! We shall not compromise our beliefs! This bill is about control and not the LGBT community!!! Come on Christians, rise up!!!

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  2. Well, here we go again!!!! Evan Low, you are confronting the GOD of Israel & Messiah YESHUA.. You Sir are a damn fool to go against the LORD GOD of all Creation. You are attempting to change common sense from Biblical standards to fit your own subjective insanity upon the great people of California. We may lose this fight in the end. But our GOD/LORD will over-all shall maintain HIS holy victory in the end…..RMA; Bakersfield, Ca….

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    • Oh, please be careful in how you speak, and remember the Lord’s compassion for the lost. We agree this is wrong, but reach out with truth and love. Zeal for righteousness is awesome, but remember we were all helpless sinners before His grace saved us. Pray for grace for the lost and mercy for those of us who will be affected negatively by this law’s impact.

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  3. Thanks for the article on AB 2943. I am someone who benefited from Christian counseling to overcome unwanted same sex attractions, and I my wife and I have been married for 10 years now and we have two beautiful daughters. If you need someone from my perspective to speak up about this, I am willing because this legislation is wrong. If this passes, my fear is that the next step will be making this kind of counselling illegal, even when offered for free by pastors and other people. There are still Christian groups established while Exodus International supported this work that are still in operation, and the rights of the ex-gay community must be protected. It is time for the LGBT community to acknowledge and defend the rights of its much maligned and misunderstood ex-gay brethren. We should not be discriminated against just because we have made a different choice than what is currently politically correct. Thank you for listening and fighting for our rights.

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  4. Call it what you will, if a person decides to leave homosexuality, no one should discourage them from doing this . And there should not be limitations, dictating who can give assistance. Counselors do therapy with proven methods and there is widespread evidence people can and do change their sexual orientation. The government should not interfere in our personal lives.

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  5. You can do nothing against the truth but for the truth. The homosexual agenda means to suppress our voice; they mean it for evil but God means it for good (Genesis 50:20). Our voices will become louder and Christians will declare that those who practice such lifestyles will not inherit the kingdom of God (1st Corinthians 6:9-10). The word of God is alive and active; it’s a double edged sword that pierces the very heart. They will cause us to unsheathe it. Some of us Americans still follow God with a whole heart in the Spirit. They’ll have to put some of us in a sound-proof prison cell to silence the word. I tell you truly, if we were quiet the very rocks would cry out! If a man lies with a man as with a woman it is an abomination, those who do so deserve the wrath of God (Romans 1:27-32). They must repent and be transformed in the name of Jesus!!!!!! They say our speech is hate speech. I beg to differ – it’s love speech. Check out my site! MichaelScolari.com

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  6. What if the alcohol industry would advocate a bill outlawing Alcoholics Anonymous based on the view that no one can stopping drinking?

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  7. Romans 1:23-26 (NKJV) 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

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