California Moves to Ban Anti-LGBT Books
The California State Assembly is expected to vote on a bill that would effectively muzzle orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality, banning books and counseling presenting the Christian views that gender identity should conform with biological sex and that sexual activity is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.
Assembly Bill 2943 (A.B. 2943) would amend the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to ban as "unfair or deceptive acts or practices ... the sale or lease of goods or services" that promote "sexual orientation change efforts." If enacted, this law would enable any LGBT person to object to any good or service promising freedom from unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (the persistent condition of identifying with a gender opposite your birth sex) as "fraudulent."
The Consumer Legal Remedies Act, passed in 1970, banned unfair commercial practices in order to protect consumers who had been duped or misled. As A.B. 2943 explains, "Existing law authorizes any consumer who suffers damages as a result of these unlawful practices to bring an action against that person to recover damages, among other things."
The new bill would add "sexual orientation change efforts" to the list of banned practices. A.B. 2943 defines these efforts as "any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."
This over-broad definition smuggles transgender identity into the "sexual orientation change efforts" by including "gender expressions."
"California has a compelling interest in protecting consumers from false and deceptive practices that claim to change sexual orientation and in protecting consumers against exposure to serious harm caused by sexual orientation change efforts," A.B. 2943 states. "This bill would 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."
While this later language suggests that A.B. 2943 would only ban direct engagement with an individual, including the ban on "sexual orientation change efforts" as part of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act would extend to any form of "advertising" such efforts, including writing in a book that same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria could be reversed by divine intervention.
"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," A.B. 2943 states.
Such a law would effectively ban any book or counseling encouraging traditional Christian ideas on sexuality. Following the Bible, orthodox Christians believe that homosexual activity is sinful and unnatural (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Acts 15:29). They also believe that God made humans male and female (Genesis 1:27).