Over the weekend, former homosexuals and transgender people who have been set free in Christ gathered in Washington DC to share their stories and praise the Lord for the work He has done in their lives.
Elizabeth Johnston, the Activist Mommy herself, addressed the crowd on how their stories are being ignored and undermined by the left, specifically calling out a bill in California that would ban people like them from receiving counseling to overcome sexual desires or gender confusion, even if they simply sought guidance from a local church body.
Evan Low, one of the sponsors of California’s AB 2943, was the target of her message:
“He’s lying and he knows it,” she said, of his recent address to the state Assembly.
“[Low] said the law must be passed because he grew up having people tell him that he needed to change,” she explained. “He said he didn’t need to change anything about himself. In short, Evan wants people to be prevented by law from saying things that make him feel uncomfortable.”
“This is America, last time I checked,” she continued. “Listen, I can hate what an atheist says all day long, and think he’s ignorant for saying it. But I would fight for his right to say that, however uncomfortable it might make me.”
“Now if California wants to become a communist state, I’m sure that we’d all be happy to help them succeed from the union…but this is America, we have something called the First Amendment, and this law in California is so un-American and none of us should sit by idly and allow this to take place,” she declared to the crowd.
The bill, which would amend California’s business code to ban the advertisement or exchange of money for so-called “conversion therapy”, is being peddled by politicians such as Low as a harmless act that would simply prevent the practices of shock therapy or aversion therapy to help someone struggling with homosexuality or gender confusion, as these forms of therapy have been largely discredited by the medical and psychiatric communities.
“We have seen statements desperately trying to spread misinformation about a bill that is truly narrow in scope,” Low said in a response to Johnston’s comments, given to INTO Magazine. “This bill simply seeks to classify conversion therapy, a practice discredited by the medical community, as a fraudulent practice under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. This bill would in no way ban the Bible or limit anyone’s free speech.”
“I will continue to defend free speech, including Ms. Johnston’s right to spread her false beliefs about the bill,” he added.
Well, that’s all very well and good, except that he’s still lying. A number of legal organizations have denounced the bill for what they say does, in fact, pose a serious risk to the First Amendment, which Low is clearly covering up.
The text of the bill relies heavily on the findings of the medical and psychiatric communities that denounce conversion therapy, but the proposed law makes no such distinction, using incredibly vague language that could, in theory, be applied in a much broader way than simply towards an outdated method of therapy.
It proposes to ban “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” as illegal under state’s consumer fraud law. Sexual orientation change efforts is defined 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.”
Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Matt Sharp explains what this means: “California AB 2943 makes it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services, or anything else that helps someone overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. As a result, it could be a violation if a pastor encourages a congregant to visit the church book store to purchase books that help people address sexual issues, perhaps including the Bible itself, which teaches about the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman.”
“AB2943 is ideologically driven and lacks scientific justification,” the Liberty Council writes in a statement. “Many people have benefited from receiving counsel for unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.”
“If AB 2943 is approved, victims of sexual abuse can no longer get counseling if they develop (as often happens) unwanted urges to engage in same-sex behavior or become gender confused. The bill would also make it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services, or anything else that directs people to trust in Jesus Christ to help them overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.”
Low has no interest in our First Amendment rights–quite the opposite. He wants to severely restrict the First Amendment rights of anyone in California who simply would prefer to overcome same-sex attraction or gender identity struggles rather than embrace them.
On Saturday, Elizabeth had a powerful word for the crowd in Washington.
“Just as the LGBT is clamping down through BILL to silence and strangle out your testimonies, guys, here we are…” she said.
“Unafraid to proclaim deliverance from gender confusion, sexual addiction, deliverance through Jesus Christ, I stand here with my brothers and sisters in JC who’s sins are just as washed away as the heterosexual sinner. Their stories give us hope that freedom is possible,” she declared, citing
Opposing this bill isn’t about judgment and intolerance, it’s about the personal liberty of Christian Californians who seek spiritual freedom from their sin, the same way a heterosexual can.
That is exactly what the First Amendment is all about.