AB 2943 (Evan Low, D-Curpertino) passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 10. The measure now moves to the Assembly floor.
As a reminder, AB 2943 will use California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act to punish any counselor who accepts any payment for helping individuals of any age with unwanted sexual desires and gender identity issues to find healing, known as sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). Counseling someone in the matter would be considered fraudulent. And Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) says the bill's vague language extends its scope well beyond one-on-one therapy saying, "At its core, AB 2943 outlaws speech, whether offered by a licensed counselor, a best-selling author, or even a minister or religious leader. It targets a specific message-that an adult who is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion can find help to address those issues-for censorship. The breadth of this censorship is staggering." Please contact your own assembly member right away and ask for his or her opposition to AB 2943.
Surprisingly, San Diego Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher was the member who inquired about the effect the bill may have on events like church marriage retreats. The attorney for the bill's proponents clearly squirmed at the unexpected questioning and was unable to adequately answer her concerns. While she ultimately voted for the bill, she told the committee that she intended to pursue the author for clarifying language.
ADF's complete legal analysis identifies what types of actions could trigger the law. ADF states, "[U]nder the bill, a person or organization who is paid by a consumer for goods or services cannot engage in any practice-including pure speech-that tells someone that they can overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion." Essentially money must change hands, but that could potentially be as simple as selling a book on the topic or a ministry charging for an event where a speaker shares his or her testimony about their personal transformation.
Please pray and take action:
AB 2943 will reach the Assembly floor soon. We have a message prepared for you to send right away. It only takes a moment of your time, but it is critical that you make your voice heard by your elected officials.