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California Senate sexuality bill targets pastors

Pastors who affirm traditional biblical views on sexuality are under attack in California. The state Senate recently passed a resolution telling Christian clergy to accept and support LGBTQ ideology, even if doing so violates their Christian beliefs.

The resolution also condemns counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion, known as conversion therapy.

“California law recognizes that performing conversion therapy on young persons is ineffective, unethical and harmful,” according to the bill. “Conversion therapy has been rejected as ineffective, unethical and harmful by leading medical, mental health and child welfare organizations in the United States.”

The resolution also seeks to reduce the stigma that society, therapists and religious groups allegedly inflict upon those within the LGBTQ community. ACR-99 proclaims that stigmatizing has caused “disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection and isolation amongst LGBTQ and questioning individuals. The State of California has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including LGBTQ youth.”

Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR-99) was introduced by Democratic state Assemblyman Evan Low of San Jose as a way to gather support for LGBTQ identity and behaviors. Supporters of the resolution assert that religious liberty does not apply, because it amounts to discrimination. They also argue that such counseling from faith-based groups is “psychological torture” and “mental health malpractice”, according to The Christian Post.

Several Christian leaders are speaking out against the resolution, saying it infringes upon their free exercise of religion.

“I believe ACR-99 sets the stage for future laws that will criminalize pastor caregivers like me who provide such a resource – resources that offer an option for those who don’t want what the state is telling them they must accept,” Russell Willingham, executive director of New Creation Ministries, told CBN News.

Roger Gannam, vice president of legal affairs for Liberty Counsel, agrees. “We have actual patients and clients who have benefited from therapy to help them with their unwanted attractions,” he said. “We’ve helped them change their lives.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice