California Legislators to Tell Pastors What to Preach from their Pulpits on LGBT Behavior & Identities

Jun 18, 2019 by

by Greg Burt, California Family Council:

Tomorrow morning before the Assembly Judiciary Committee, Assemblyman Evan Low plans to argue for a resolution that tells religious leaders in California what they should preach from their pulpits. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 calls on “counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators” and institutions with “great moral influence” to stop perpetuating the idea that something is wrong with LGBT identities or sexual behavior. ACR 99 also condemns attempts to change unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion as “unethical,” “harmful,” and leading to high rates of suicide.

Two “once-gay” pastors, Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning, plan to testify against the resolution, calling it “discriminatory” against people like themselves, who overcame suicidal thoughts by following their faith away from their LGBT identities. They now lead a ministry called Equipped to Love that helps others like themselves find health and wholeness.

“For us, walking out our faith with biblical conviction means life and hope. Our faith has saved us from suicide and given us freedom to live with clear consciences, “Woning said.

“We too would like to be acknowledged and affirmed. … Instead, activists attack our efforts to care for like-minded friends by promoting dangerous counseling restrictions and stifling our free speech.”

Williams feels the same way. “For years, I believed that even God hated me because of my behavior,” he said. “But in my early 20s, I encountered a God … who loved me despite my sins and temptations. …Today, I love my life. I have been married to my beautiful wife for 13 years, and we have created four incredible children together. … To someone like me, California Assemblyman Evan Low’s proposed resolution, ACR-99, feels like an unfair and direct attack.”

Last year Assemblyman Low introduced AB 2943, a bill that declares “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” as illegal under state’s consumer fraud law. After receiving strong opposition from numerous Christian leaders and faith-based organizations, like the California Family Council, Low killed his own bill in hopes of coming up with a compromise. Instead of introducing another bill this year, Low proposed ACR 99, which he worked on with a select group of California religious leaders, according to an email sent out by his office last week. A resolution does not have the force of law, but is simply a legislative statement made in an attempt to influence public opinion.

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