By Mary Mack
Two assembly bills have been introduced in Sacramento which seriously threaten our First Amendment rights and freedoms. This should concern Americans in every state, for California sets the standard for progressive laws that are usually adopted across the nation. AB 2119 and AB 2943 will be voted on by the California Senate when it returns from summer recess on August 6, 2018. If passed, these two laws will discriminate against Christians, Muslims, and Jews on the basis of their religious beliefs, and will deny them certain rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.
AB 2943 is sponsored by the California Legislative LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Caucus in Sacramento and was introduced on February 16, 2018. (A caucus is a group within an organization or political party which meets independently to discuss strategy or tactics.) AB 2943 will amend the sections of the Civil Code relating to unlawful business practices. Violators will be prosecuted under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which “makes unlawful certain unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a transaction intended to result, or which results, in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer.”
California sets the standard for progressive laws that are usually adopted across the nation. If AB 2119 and AB 2943 are passed, these two laws will discriminate against Christians, Muslims, and Jews on the basis of their religious beliefs, and will deny them certain rights and freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment.
Through enactment of AB 2943, the Legislature proposes to “include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”
The preamble to this bill contains the following declaration: “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.” Then follows a list of quotes from various organizations which purport to support this arbitrary claim, but which contain no actual scientific findings. Therefore, the premise of this entire bill is faulty.
The danger to our rights and freedoms are very real, however. The California Family Council website has a plethora of reference materials and legal briefs from legal organizations around the country which have analyzed AB 2943 and found it to be unconstitutional. This bill impacts the commercial activities of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, making it illegal for anyone to express God’s position on homosexuality wherever money changes hands. It will restrict the free expression of ideas in the marketplace. It will ban the sale of religious texts, muzzle Christian/Jewish/Muslim counsellors from helping clients change their homosexual orientation, shut down websites and newspapers that print or share blogs and articles that advocate God’s view on homosexuality, ban conferences, classes, and novels that oppose homosexuality, as well as all advertising for such goods and events.
The text of AB 2943 is so vague that LGBT activists can sue for an infinite number of perceived offenses. Journalists will not be allowed to report objectively on the issue since they will be banned from printing the statements of defendants in the avalanche of lawsuits that are bound to follow such legislation. Not because Christians are defiant and lawless, but because this law will force them to practice their religion outside the law; in effect, AB 2943 will turn Christians into criminals. It will force us to choose between God’s law and man’s law.
The second bill being considered by the California Legislature is AB 2119, introduced on February 8, 2018, and sponsored by Todd Gloria of the LGBT Caucus. This purpose of this bill is to make taxpayer-funded “gender affirming health care and behavioral health services” available to children in foster care. The intent of the bill is to provide transgender or gender non-conforming (TGNC) children in the foster care system with “interventions to suppress the development of endogenous secondary sex characteristics” and “interventions to align the patient’s appearance or physical body with the patient’s gender identity.”
Those interventions include dangerous hormone-suppressing drugs that will prevent children’s bodies from developing normally during puberty, and sex-change operations to remove a child’s sex organs and install fake ones to imitate those of the opposite sex.
AB 2119 allows for just about anybody to decide when a child should have those “gender affirming” medical and surgical interventions. Section 16501.31 (a) states that a child of any age can request a sex change. There are no age limits specified; an impressionable four-year-old can be convinced to trustingly agree with his/her “caregiver, attorney, Court Appointed Special Advocate, or social worker” that he/she wants to have a sex-change operation, and the county child welfare agency will then be obligated by this law to provide it without question.
What is perhaps even scarier is that a child’s “caregiver, attorney, Court Appointed Special Advocate, or social worker” can make that decision on behalf of any child in the California Foster Care system.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
It is our right and our sacred duty to vote in each election. But we must not vote blindly; it is imperative to be familiar with the issues, the candidates, and the measures. By abstaining from voting, we abdicate our rights and run the risk of those rights being taken away from us one at a time. By voting blindly, we can accidentally put major decision-making power into the hands of politicians who oppose our values.
Politicians who are elected to office are given control over countless laws that are passed daily, mostly without the public’s knowledge. They don’t have to announce what they are doing; winning the election is a carte blanche directive to represent the citizens of their district any way they see fit. Therefore, when we are represented by politicians who do not share our values, it is in our best interest to stay informed about the laws that are being debated by our elected officials. Our voices still can be heard. We still can call, visit, write, or email our representatives and object to certain bills, and if enough voices are raised in objection, our representatives will listen.
Stay abreast of these two bills as they progress through the Legislature. Become better informed by reading all the reference material and legal briefs on the California Family Council’s website at http://www.californiafamily.org/.
If you live in California, go to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ and locate the contact information for your State Representatives. Then call, email, write to, or visit your Senator and Assemblyman and tell them to OPPOSE AB 2943 and AB 2119.
If you live outside California, alert your friends and relatives in California, and share this article on all your Social Media outlets.
A list of the laws introduced by the California Legislature can be viewed at http://www.legislature.ca.gov/bill_index2.html
Mary Mack is an award-winning screenwriter (Table Read My Screenplay contest, Best Fantasy Screenplay, 2015) and has taught screenwriting workshops for the California Writers Club. Mary is the Editor of The Mohahve Muse, the official newsletter of the Mohahve Historical Society, and Assistant Editor of The Inkslinger, the newsletter of the California Writers Club (High Desert). As a freelance editor, Mary has earned a reputation among her clientele as an insightful story consultant and eagle-eyed proofreader. As a freelance graphic designer, she creates logos, book covers, business cards, letterhead, and promotional material for clients across the world.
Contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org