By Autumn Leva, VP of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance
Tolerance and diversity. These buzzwords are the Left’s morning coffee, rallying cry, and litmus test for political office—or for anything else for that matter.
California. The state that brings us Hollywood, the LGBT mecca of San Francisco, Democratic super majorities in the legislature who can pass any Leftist policy they want, and 55 electoral votes earmarked for the Democrat presidential candidate every time.
You’d think California and “tolerance and diversity” would go together like Planned Parenthood and abortion.
But they don’t. In fact, California is the last state you should consider living in if you’re a Leftist who preaches tolerance and diversity.
California is a beautiful state. And it boasts some of the most incredible people who continue to stand strong in the face of Leftist attacks. In fact, Family Policy Alliance has its roots in California and is investing heavily there on behalf of the good people of the Golden State.
But as Californians know all too well, their politicians have been closing the state’s doors to freedom of choice, diversity of options, free speech, and even freedom of ideas for a long time. And now, a bill the state is considering this year may just be the final click of the deadbolt.
In 2012, California became the first state to ban professional counseling for children and teens who are struggling with their gender identity. But the ban only forbids counseling that is designed to help them identify with their birth sex.
In other words, counseling that encourages children to change their gender – even to go through irreversible sex-change operations – is protected by the state. But counseling to help them accept their God-given birth sex is outlawed. This law gives the state permission to interfere with families’ rights to direct their own healthcare goals, stifles free speech, squashes ideas that the state doesn’t like, meddles in the relationship between a healthcare professional and her patient, and, worst of all, harms children along the way by forcing them into often irreversible “gender transition” before they’re even old enough to vote.
In 2015, California’s liberal politicians passed the “Reproductive FACT Act”—now the subject of the NIFLA v. Becerra case before the Supreme Court. The Act targets prolife pregnancy centers by requiring them to advertise for abortion industry, even in their own buildings! This bears repeating. The state of California is so intolerant of the pro-life movement that it wants to not just silence prolife ministries—but force them to become billboards for the abortion industry. We expect the Supreme Court to rule that California overstepped its bounds with this law sometime in June.
Last year, the California legislature attempted to pass AB 1146, a bill targeting religious students, particularly disadvantaged minorities, that would take away their option to attend a school that aligns with their faith. The bill would have required colleges and universities to stop accepting any state funding—including students who receive Cal Grants to help disadvantaged students attend college—or else violate their faith and ministry.
In other words, it was more important to California’s leftist leaders to force Christian universities to abandon their faith in favor the state’s LGBT agenda than it was to give poor and minority students a chance to attend the college of their choice, or even to attend college at all. Thankfully, this bill was mostly killed last year before it became law.
Now this year, the LGBT lobby is ramrodding a bill through the legislature that is perhaps the most hostile of all to tolerance and diversity. This new bill, AB 2943, would take the 2012 law banning therapy for minors even further—it would literally ban the sale of books, among other things.
The bill would ban the sale of books that express Christian, biblical beliefs about sex and sexuality. It would also classify any services (now including professional therapy for adults), speech or books to help people align their sex and sexuality with their faith, morals or personal goals as “fraud.” In fact, the bill is so broad it could censor pastors and their ability to help, or even recommend a book, to hurting people struggling with gender-identity issues or unwanted same-sex attraction.
Because the bill is so broad and clearly designed to advance the LGBT agenda with no tolerance toward differing views, it has been nicknamed the “you must stay gay” bill.
So What Can We Do?
If You Live in California
If you live in California and haven’t yet called on your state Senator to oppose AB 2943, the “you must stay gay” bill, please use our ACTION CENTER to do so now! (If you sent a message to your Assembly member earlier, your senator still needs to hear from you.) It only takes seconds to send the message. Thousands have already sent in messages, but your state’s senators need to know that Californians want nothing to do with the Legislature’s newest attempt to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with its LGBT agenda!
If You Don’t Live in California
The sad truth is that California’s heavy-handed policies spread to other parts of the country. For example, since California first banned professional therapy for children struggling with gender identity in 2012, 10 other states (plus D.C.) enacted the same ban, and many more states—including states in the Heartland and South—have been considering such legislation. Even some cities in conservative states passed therapy bans—forcing children into counseling that only encourages them to change their gender.
Your voice is so important in preventing California’s policies from spreading to other states like yours.
First, please visit our ACTION CENTER. There is a federal bill in Congress that would ban professional therapy for children struggling with gender identity, very similar to California’s law, that would have an impact nationwide. We need your help making sure our federal lawmakers know this policy is bad for America!
Next, Family Policy Alliance is dedicated to working across the nation with families and our state-based family policy group allies to advance prolife, pro-family, and pro-religious freedom policies—and to prevent California’s intolerance from spreading. As you steward your resources, if this work is important to you, we ask you to consider partnering with us to support our nonprofit ministry.