CA Bill Censors Speech

Apr 20, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Assembly approved a bill 50-18 that would ban counselors from providing counseling and adults from receiving counsel regarding unwanted same-sex attraction, behavior or gender confusion. The bill is so far reaching that it also prohibits printed material and even books. The bill was sent over to the state Senate for a vote.

AB 2943 would prevent so-called “conversion therapy,” sometimes called Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, and add it to the list of fraudulent schemes under the states’ Consumer Legal Remedies Act. AB 2943 declares “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” is fraudulent business practice. If approved, victims of sexual abuse can no longer get counseling if they develop (as often happens) unwanted urges to engage in same-sex behavior or become gender confused. This bill would also make it unlawful for any person to sell books, including the Bible, counseling services, or anything else that directs people to trust in Jesus Christ to help them overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

The implications of this legislation spread far beyond regulating the type of counseling offered by licensed therapists, who are already banned from helping minors with unwanted same-sex attractions. This bill will cause harm by preventing counselors from providing counseling and adults from receiving beneficial counsel they desire. AB2943 is ideologically driven and lacks scientific justification. Many people have benefited from receiving counsel for unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.

“The implications of California AB 2943 reach far beyond regulating the type of counseling offered by licensed therapists,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “This bill is unconstitutional as it substitutes the government for personal choice and is a shocking assault on free speech. Imagine a church not allowed to sell Christian books, or even Bibles, that help people overcome same-sex attractions. This bill will do the unimaginable is passed. If it does pass, we will immediately file suit,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.