CA Bill to Censor Counseling

Mar 23, 2018

SACRAMENTO, CA -- The California LGBT Caucus recently introduced a bill that would ban counselors from providing counseling and adults from receiving counsel regarding unwanted same-sex attraction, behavior or gender confusion. AB 2943 would prevent so-called “conversion therapy,” known as Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE), and add it to the list of fraudulent schemes under the states’ Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA). California has already prohibited SOCE (SB1172) involving minors, even with parental consent. AB 2943 has been assigned to the Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection. The bill is set for committee hearing on April 3.

AB 2943 prohibits: (1) advertising sexual orientation change efforts, (2) offering to engage in sexual orientation change efforts, and (3) engaging in sexual orientation change efforts. The bill prohibits every individual, whether a pastor, clergy, or licensed therapist, from advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts.  

This bill will cause harm by preventing counselors from providing counseling and adults from receiving beneficial counsel they desire. AB2943 is ideologically driven and lacks scientific justification. Many people have benefited from receiving counsel for unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or gender confusion.

If AB 2943 is approved, victims of sexual abuse can no longer get counseling if they develop (as often happens) unwanted urges to engage in same-sex behavior or become gender confused. The bill would also make it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services, or anything else that directs people to trust in Jesus Christ to help them overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

“California AB 2943 is a very dangerous bill that will do a lot of damage to people seeking help with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “People have the right to seek the counsel of their choice, but this bill substitutes the government for personal choice. The implications are staggering, and the result is harmful,” said Staver.

Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.