(Michael W. Chapman – CNSNews) The California House recently passed legislation (AB 2943) that says “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual” is a fraudulent business practice, and if it passes in the Senate and becomes law, it could result in certain books, speakers, and conferences being banned, including the Bible, said Mat Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel.
The bill “is so broad that it bans books, printed materials and advertisements that provide information that a person facing unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion can change,” said Staver. “[It] is a dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights and is a classic viewpoint discrimination. It declares certain kinds of speech as consumer fraud.”
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“A pastor, church or para-church ministry could be banned from holding a conference or selling books or videos about overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion,” he said.
The legislation states, “Courts, including in California, have recognized the practice of sexual orientation change efforts as a commercial service. Therefore, claims that sexual orientation change efforts are effective in changing an individual’s sexual orientation may constitute unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business practices under state consumer protection laws. This bill intends to make clear that sexual orientation change efforts are an unlawful practice under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.”
As for banning certain Christian books, videos, and speakers, Randy Thomasson, the president of SaveCalifornia.com, told CBN News that this could happen because the bill “is only triggered when money is being exchanged for ‘sexual orientation change efforts,’ and there is no exemption for religious institutions or religious material.”