Sunday, August 26, 2018

California MassResistance vs. AB 2943: The Fight for Faith, Family, and Freedom

The headlines are blazing about the latest legislative insanity coming out of the People’s Republic of California. Major conservative columnists like Dr. Michael Brown, Todd Starnes, and others have spoken out against a terrible piece of legislation, AB 2943. Major news outlets across the country, mostly conservative-leaning, have signaled deep concerns should this legislation pass. If it gets signed into law, reparative therapy for adults would be banned as a service in the state of California.
To recap, reparative therapy helps individuals who struggle with same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. This process has saved many lives. Fundamentally, this therapy debunks the lie that homosexuals and transgenders are “born that way.” For this reason, the regressive LGBT lobby has been targeting reparative therapy (mislabeling it “conversion therapy”) for the last ten years. They have rolled out misleading propaganda and outright lies that this therapy relies on abusive treatments like electroshock treatments, heat pressure applied to genitalia, and other ghastly procedures to “straighten” patients out.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and yet the homosexuality-transgender movement repeatedly relies on this tired, debunked trope to generate opposition and legislative bans on the practice. An information campaign can change minds, but right now in California voters need to change lawmakers votes. And that’s where MassResistance steps in to fight.

Just as we had done two years ago to fight another terrible bill in California, MassResistance, the international pro-family group that makes a difference, has been fighting this bill and similar bills throughout the country. For this past summer, I have been privileged to serve as their Organization Director as well as the chapter director for California. Our fight is quite a challenge, but many believed that this level of opposition and victory would never work out in our favor.

Despite the left-wing argument that the LGBT movement is on the right side of history, and that there is nothing that people of faith and conscience can do to stop this tide against reparative therapy, our pro-family network has notched some incredible successes. In Maine, Governor Paul LePage vetoed legislation which would have banned reparative therapy for minors. The Maine state legislature could not override the veto. In Massachusetts, a state with a much more liberal legislature, could not muster the votes to pass a similar reparative therapy ban. Has this aggressive anti-Faith, anti-Family LGBT movement hit a brick wall?

Perhaps, but California is the latest battleground, and the battle to stop this LGBT Hate Machine will be harder. The first reparative, or “gay-conversion” therapy ban for minors passed in California, my home state. What’s worse, the legislation was authored by my never-ending representative, Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). Now the state of California wants to take another dubious first, banning an entire realm of therapy for all, adults as well as children. The state has targeted straws, but has reduced the penalties for knowingly infecting someone with AIDS. No one should be surprised that California’s progressive cronies want to achieve another dubious first.

Pastor Dan Carroll

The fear and outrage over this legislation is palpable. Sadly, a number of pro-family institutions in the state didn’t start raising significant alarm about this legislation until the beginning of summer. Only when Pastor Dan Carroll of Water of Life Community Church in Fontana raised significant alarm about this legislation did the State Assembly and State Senate start paying attention. Left-leaning assemblymembers and state senators told their leaders to stall the process over the July recess.
While most activist groups look at the numbers on the ground, MassResistance began focusing on the masses we can inform, impact, and engage to contact their state representatives, visit their offices, and demand withdrawal of this terrible bill.

Will these efforts pay off?

So far, our activists scared off one Democrat in the State Senate from supporting AB 2943. Richard Roth of Riverside represents a curled-up district in an otherwise large, expansive conservative region of the state. When I announced a targeted effort to his office, it looks like he paid attention and abstained on the bill.

Now our team is contacting and confronting state legislators and their staffers all over the state. Churches have been not only been receptive to my calls, but have gladly received MassResistance resources to inform their congregations and community to fight this bill.

Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino)

These efforts are paying off, and yet the misinformation continues. A number of groups and news sites have reported that AB 2943 has passed the state legislature. That’s not true. Because the Democrats faced enough push back to amend this bill, the bill author, Assemblyman Evan Low, has prevented its latest vote on the Assembly floor. Another week has passed, and the State Assembly still has not taken up the legislation. One more week, and if the Assembly does not pass the legislation out by August 31st. the bill is dead!

Over the last month, I have learned how little Californians know about the legislative process. For too long, well-meaning pro-family conservatives have relied on voting to make a difference. Now they need to fight back with informed activism. Some pastors informed me that they had spent their time contacting Governor Brown to veto this bill, even though his office hasn’t even received it yet. We are gaining more ground than they even realize!

Will MassResistance accomplish the impossible and stop AB 2943 in one of the most liberal bastions in the country? As time passes, and the bill has less time for final passage, we believe that our chances for protecting therapy equality, the First Amendment, and Biblical morality will succeed, even in California. Stay tuned.

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