California lawmakers attack people of faith

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By Capitol Resource Institute

ACR 99 Passes California Senate

The California State Senate voted to pass Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR 99). As of 2:05 this afternoon (9/4/19) the vote was 28 Senators voting for the resolution and only 6 voting against it.

Unfortunately, this means that ACR 99 now makes it the official position of the State Legislature and the State of California to blame “religious groups” for “disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] and questioning individuals.”

An overwhelming majority of the California Senate have chosen to blame religious people, clergy, pastors, priests, rabbis, religious organizations and ministries for suicides among homosexual, bisexual and transgender people.

This is the first time in California’s long and rich religious history that the state legislature has made it the official position to specifically single out, attack, blame, target and vilify churches and religious people for disagreeing with the sexual lifestyles of others and for trying to help those who seek counseling and guidance to rid themselves of unwanted sexual desires.

Let us say that again. Never before has the State of California viciously attacked the Christian and religious community by blaming them for suicides and calling religious counseling for those who wish to abandon sexual urges, and lifestyles “ineffective, unethical and harmful.”

California has a deep and rich history that has the fingerprints of religious contributions from ministries and people. California is the state that is home to 21 missions dating back to the first one built in 1770 to the last built in 1823. In every region of the state there is visible proof of the role religious faith and ministries have played. One needs to only look at the names of many cities up and down the state that bear the name of religious figures; from San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, San Gabriel, San Bernardino, Santa Monica, to San Diego.

Knowing the role religious groups have played in many aspects of California from its early beginnings, the actions taken today by the California Senate, and the State Assembly weeks before, are a complete about-face and change in how the state now views the rights of religious people in contempt and how they wish to deny people of faith from exercising their beliefs in accordance to their faith.

State Senator Andreas Borgeas of Fresno touched on this very point during the debate on ACR 99. He warned Senators that they are “treading onto dangerous territory by denying people of their First Amendment rights of freedom” to seek counseling if that is what they choose to do so. “We are telling individuals to not do something and taking a position that disallows people” from exercising their religious rights, he added.

Sure, today’s vote is not binding but it approves a resolution expressing the official position of the state and the legislature. Their ultimate goal is to turn religious leaders that help gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people into criminals, ban any teachings against these sexual lifestyles and ban all printed materials that do not favor these sexual lifestyles.

Senator Jim Beall of San Jose confirmed this when he said during today’s debate that religious clergy, ministries and counselors should be “charged with mental health malpractice.” He wants to turn religious leaders and counselors into criminals simply for helping others that want to leave these sexual lifestyles.

Senator Tom Umberg of Anaheim called what religious leaders, ministries, counselors and others do to help these individuals “tortue.”

Senate Hannah Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara, who has a history of showing disdain for religious people who disagree with these sexual practices, said, “one religious perspective should not be able to undermine the rights of others,” clearly targeting conservative people of faith. Yet she went on to say that religious people should not be able to use the First Amendment right of religion to protect their religious beliefs when they conflict with the homosexual, bisexual, lesbian and transgender lifestyles.

They tried criminalizing people of religious faith last year with Assembly Bill 2943, but thankfully they failed. With this vote now recorded, supporters behind this resolution of blaming and targeting people of faith will likely attempt to resurrect their true intentions next year by making ACR 99 law.