On June 4, 2019, California passed a resolution, ACR 99, introduced by Assemblyman Evan Low for “religious groups to embrace the LGBTQ ideology and in hope to reduce tension in society.”California’s resolution calls on religious leaders and others with “moral influence” to affirm homosexuality and “transgenderism” according to Andrea Morris from CBN news.com on September 16 2019. The resolution was filed by the Secretary of State on September 26 2019.
“The text of ACR-99 criticizes pastors, counselors, and other religious ministers helping those who are struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion,” said Mikaela Mathews from the Christian Headlines on September 17, 2019. Church leaders and followers are feeling that the church is under attack and in the mix of the debate. The first amendment is perceived to be under fire according to Charlene Aaron, CBN News on September 27, 2019.
In the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, the government cannot deny freedom of speech, press, or religion. Supporters of the resolution say it is not a violation of the first amendment, but is intended to force religious groups to accept the members of the LGTQ community. A supporter of the resolution who previouly participated in church therapy described the practices as “psychological torture” and “mental health malpractice,” according to Hailey Branson-Potts, LA Times, August 2, 2019.
The California Assembly based its reason for passing the resolution on studies stating that therapy groups are ineffective and harmful according to the Human Rights Campaign under the health and aging category. Nothing the resolution states is violating the freedom of religion, but is rather focused on reducing the number of suicides, suicide attempts, and depression cases.
Senator Andreas Borgeas of Fresno (R) said, “…the resolution does not have the force of law behind it.” The Senator is opposed to the resolution according to Brandon Showalter of the Christian Post on September 14 2019. There are still politicians and church leaders that are against the resolution in the name of freedom of speech and religion. New York like California; is also trying to pass a resolution based on the same topic according to Brandon Showalter of the Christian Post.
City councils from both states are in favor of this resolution; however, according to the LA Times August 2 2019, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of passing this resolution, but will most likely reject it.