In California, encouraging someone to engage in homosexual behavior is endorsed by the state.
Now, lawmakers are on the verge of making the act of helping someone become free of homosexual desires consumer fraud.
The stunning intervention in the practice of counselors who assist people with same-sex attractions is proposed in a new bill introduced by the Assembly.
The sponsors contend “contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness.”
That assumption, in defiance of virtually all medical and mental health conclusions for much of the 20th century that homosexuality is a disorder, is their starting point.
They then cite the statements of organizations, such as the Pan American Health Organization, that support homosexuality.
They argue: “Courts, including in California, have recognized the practice of sexual orientation change efforts as a commercial service. Therefore, claims that sexual orientation change efforts are effective in changing an individual’s sexual orientation, may constitute unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under state consumer protection laws. This bill intends to make clear that sexual orientation change efforts are an unlawful practice under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.”
The Pacific Justice Institute, which defended minors seeking help for same-sex attractions when the state outlawed such counseling, warned of the bill’s infringement of religious rights.
“Unlike prior legislation target [sexual orientation change efforts], sometimes known as reparative or conversion therapy, this bill is not limited to minors or licensed counselors,” Pacific Justice said. “It also does not include any religious exemptions for churches or non-profit ministries. On its face, the targeted ‘goods and services’ could include the sale of books on the power of the Gospel to heal sexual brokenness, or conferences addressing the same topics.”
A letter from Pacific Justice to lawmakers expressing opposition cited the state efforts “to codify state orthodoxy in deeply personal matters of conscience.”
The letter points out that the “sole exception” to the state’s blanket ban would be to “psychotherapies that: (1) provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices.”
However, the idea that lawmakers can ban certain “runs afoul of the guarantees to expressive conduct found in the First Amendment and Article 1, [paragraphs] 2 and 4 of the California Constitution.”
Pacific Justice pointed out that the state already outlawed such counseling for minors, and if it wanted to include adults in clinical counseling settings, it could have modified its earlier law by striking “under 18 years of age.”
But the lawmakers wanted to do much more than limit licensed counselors.
“The answer lies in a press release that Assemblyman Low’s office dispatched which reads ‘People who go through conversion therapy, whether with a licensed therapist or an unlicensed organization, frequently find that they have wasted years of their lives and thousands of dollars on these false promises,'” the organization said.
The legislation then cites a report identifying religious conservatives as “matching the profile of those that seek to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions.”
The report by the American Psychological Association “describes this entire subject as a clash of worldviews. This struggle pits transcendent values against inner appetites … in other words, some believe their duty rests in a lifestyle that remains faithful to their religious convictions. Others believe that fulfillment in life comes when lived in accordance to passions, i.e., consistent with out they perceive their own life experience,” the institute said.
“The heart of the matter is that the authors of the APA report simply disagree with the notion that a person of faith should choose values over sexual yearnings,” the institute told lawmakers. “Going even further, the APA report recognizes the essential conflict between a conservative religious philosophy and a psychology-based philosophy.”
So, those who seek freedom from unwanted same-sex attractions likely are religiously conservative and the therapies incorporate religious and spiritual approaches, such as prayer.
The state already admitted as much in its earlier ban on those therapies for children, defining “conversion therapy” as employing “prayer, religious conversion, individual and group counseling.”
Consequently, the law is “an unconstitutional regulation of the church by the state,” PJI asserted.
“Because of the broad application of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, a church or synagogue holding workshops to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions in which they charge a fee or sell books and instructional materials can find themselves ensnared by the implementation of this law. Under such circumstances, houses of worship that teach, and clergy that preach, theologically conservative views on homosexuality will face judges and juries for engaging in consumer fraud.”
And that legal punishment will be applied only because the lawmakers find “certain religious viewpoints” objectionable.
The Supreme Court declined to intervene in the California ban on counseling for minors, but the issue remains in the courts in other states.
WND reported on the current California bill, which Randy Thomasson of the family values promoting SaveCalifornia.com said comes “not surprisingly, from eight Democrat ‘LGBT’ assemblymembers and state senators.”
He recently told KFBK radio: “Banning the free-will choice of adults who want to pay for professional counseling for themselves? People who just want to be free from unwanted ‘LGBT’ feelings that often stem from childhood sexual abuse?
“This Democrat bill is as unfair as banning weight loss centers, exercise centers, anti-smoking clinics, and cancer treatment alternatives. If people want to change, a free society will let them. Whatever happened to freedom of choice? Who do these ‘LGBT’ legislators think they are?”
He continued: “There are tens of thousands of FORMER homosexuals and FORMER transsexuals in our country. They changed back to their natural gender once they learned that homosexuality and transsexuality are not biologically-based. That’s the fact that these intolerant, ‘LGBT’ legislators want to hide – so no one can be healed from sexual confusion.”
The sponsors of the bill are Sens. Toni Atkins, Cathleen Galgiani, Ricardo Lara, and Scott Wiener and Reps. Sabrina Cervantes, Susan Eggman and Todd Gloria. They insist that “sexual orientation change efforts” must be defined as an “unlawful business practice.”
Critics have pointed out California’s “hostility” to religion began in its public schools. A previous law allowed promotion of homosexuality but forbade educators from explaining the problems associated with it. The law was the first many pro-homosexual laws imposed on schools over the years, to the point the states now requires children to celebrate “Harvey Milk Day” in honor of the late homosexual politician.