Deceptive practices: A confusing bill on ‘conversion therapy’

May 10, 2018 by

by Nicholas  Wolfram Smith, Angelus:

Fears it would ban the Bible may be overstated, but churches and therapists say AB 2943 is a threat

Concerns about religious liberty and freedom of speech in California are again at the political forefront in Sacramento, after the state Assembly passed a bill declaring advertising or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts a “fraudulent” practice.

Assembly Bill 2943, sponsored by Assemblyman Evan Low, passed the lower house April 19 by a vote of 50-18. Now before the Senate, the legislation amends the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to make such practices, also known as “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy,” unlawful.

But the bill has courted controversy and opposition from the state’s Catholic bishops and others concerned that it could intrude on rights of therapists and patients and violate churches’ rights to teach about marriage and sexuality.

AB 2943 takes aim at “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation,” including “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

Given this sweeping definition, Assemblyman Travis Allen, a Republican candidate for governor, claimed the bill would prohibit the sale of the Bible.

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