Saying America needs the “best mental-health decisions,” James Dobson, the noted Christian psychologist and founder of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, is praising the demise of California’s “must stay gay” bill.
In the state that already bans counseling against same-sex attractions for children, it would have made “consumer fraud” anything that would have opposed the pro-homosexual, pro-transgender social movements.
It would have made it a crime to offer a seminar counseling against homosexuality if the consumer needed to buy a ticket, it would have made illegal the sales of books, possibly even the Bible, if they counsel against the homosexual lifestyle.
The reason is obvious: if homosexuality is a choice then gays lose their ability to insist they were born that way, and to demand accommodations from throughout society.
WND reported Friday when the sponsor of that plan withdrew it from consideration.
AB2943 was just one vote short of the governor’s desk, and it had virtually unanimous support from Democrats who are in the majority in the state Assembly and Senate.
Family organizations and Christian leaders from across California had been reaching out to the legislature, specially the sponsor, Assemblyman Evan Low, asking that it be dropped.
Dobson’s Policy Center was among those organizations opposing the plan.
In a statement, officials at the center said, “The statute would have applied to all individuals in all life stages, including consenting adults who wish to address unwanted same-sex attraction or to abstain from same-sex behavior. Since AB 2983 first passed through both chambers of California’s state legislature, many feared the bill’s potential chilling effect on freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion.”
The group explained, “Since bill would have designated the sale of all ‘goods and services’ as consumer fraud, AB 2983 could have banned the sale or dissemination of many Christian books if they espouse traditional beliefs about human sexuality, marriage and gender, including perhaps, even the Bible. Because of this, the James Dobson Family Institute encouraged faith-based, concerned citizens to actively fight against AB 2983’s passage.”
After Low’s announcement, Dobson said, “I am very grateful to all of the pastors, counselors, and our families in California and across the country who spoke up and made their voices heard.
“It is incumbent on us to make sure we still have the right to make the best mental-health decisions for our children, our loved ones, and ourselves and that parental rights are protected now and for generations to come,” he said.
Dobson, who also founded Family Talk and co-founded the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council, has counseled five presidents, written dozens of books and guided Christian families in negotiating the intricate pathways of parenthood.
He also serves on President Trump’s Faith Advisory Board and has been called by the New York Times “the most influential evangelical leader in the country.”
Low admitted that he had heard from many opponents of his bill.
“I left those productive conversations feeling hopeful. I believe every person who attended these meetings left with a greater understanding for the underlying reason and intention of this bill to create a loving and inclusive environment for all,” the Democrat said in a statement. “However, I believe there is still more to learn.”
The legislation had been underway amid the release of a Liberty Counsel study showing that such therapies overwhelmingly are effective.
The study, titled “Effects of Therapy on Religious Men Who Have Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction,” authored by Paul Santero, Neil Whitehead and Dolores Ballesteros, all PhDs, introduces its findings by noting that the American Psychological Association and other organizations “have formally claimed that sexual orientation change therapies should not be used because they are probably ineffective and may cause harm.”
However, the authors reported a survey “asking for negative and positive experiences of 125 men with active lay religious belief who went through sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) strongly conflict with those claims.”
“In our study, most of those who participated in group or professional help had heterosexual shifts in sexual attraction, sexual identity and behavior with large statistical effect sizes, similarly moderate-to-marked decreases in suicidality, depression, substance abuse, and increases in social functioning and self -esteem. Almost all harmful effects were none to slight.”
This result, Liberty Counsel explains, “strongly refutes claims the American Psychological Association and other organizations have made aimed at discouraging counsel to change unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, and identity.”