The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

California Assembly seeks LGBT affirmation from pastors, churches

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 6/25/19, 01:41 pm

The California State Assembly passed a resolution on Monday calling on religious leaders and others with “moral influence” to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism. The resolution asks counselors, pastors, churches, educators, schools, legislators, and others to avoid supporting traditional and Biblical views of sexuality, which the measure claims can cause suicide and depression. The text of the resolution includes philosophical statements about the nature of human sexuality and a broad condemnation of so-called “conversion therapy,” which it says “has been rejected as ineffective, unethical, and harmful.”

More than two dozen doctors, counselors, activists, and other Christian leaders signed a letter condemning the resolution, which they said violates religious freedom. “Religious leaders have the constitutionally protected right to teach religious doctrine in accordance with their faith, and politicians have no right to tell clergy what is moral, dictate the content of their sermons, or instruct them in religious counseling,” they wrote.

Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low introduced the resolution earlier this month after pulling his controversial bill last year that would have banned any attempt to change sexual orientation—even when a person has unwanted same-sex attraction. As a resolution, ACR 99 does not have the force of law. It will now go to the state Senate for a vote.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

Read more from this writer


You must be a WORLD Member and logged in to the website to comment.
  •  phillipW's picture
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 01:49 pm

    How long till the government dictates to you how you are supposed to feel towards the militant LGBTQ agenda?  This resolution is unconstitutional in that it violates the First Amendment protections of religious freedoms, and freedom of speech.  Unfortunately, those that voted to pass this resolution don't even know what the US Constitution says, let alone abide by it.  How many more florists, cake decorators, photographers, and other business will the LGBTQ community target because they don't abide by the "religious" teachings?

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 02:00 pm

    Amen!! First Amendment freedoms work in all directions.

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 02:40 pm

    Very interesting that the LGBT thinks it is society that is causing the depression and suicide in their midst as opposed to the weight of sin.  It is a good sign that they are feeling it - a sad sign that they think endorsement of sin will somehow carry the weight of it away. 

  • AlanE
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 03:14 pm

    Maybe it's good that I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by it all. Maybe that will be the impetus I need to start praying more. Evan Low will be among the first I start praying for.

  • GMR
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 03:25 pm

    These folks have a completely different world view and CANNOT discern truth from error. Therefore they are wrong because they neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God. AlanE makes a good point: How many of us are praying?

  • MY
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 03:44 pm

    I find it interesting that those of the liberal agenda have for many years repeatedly sought to exclude ANY connection of religion to public life.  But now when it could advance their purposes, they are inviting those of religious persuasions to publically endorse their position.  So have they determined that religious leadership entering the public square is okay as long as it it reinforces their liberal bias?   I find that a glaring inconsistency, but it would seem so.  

    I would add that while it's sad that there are some glaring exceptions, most serious thinking people who want to advance a christian worldview know that to win over the minds of those otherly minded we must do two things.   1. Be kind and winsome in our presentation of our christian worldview positions, using logic and tact to present our case for them to consider.  Shouting Bible verses doesn't form a basis for change to those who do not respect the Bible's authority, and may be sometimes counterproductive.    2. Remember people are not our enemy.  We want to see the people live successful healthy lives.  And we know that God's way is what is actually best for them, even though they don't know that.  Our real enemy is the spiritual powers working behind the scenes.   Overcome the real enemy by bringing redemption to the people who are ensnared.

  • D King
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 03:53 pm

    Well said - thank you! I want to pray more often and more fervently for my home state of California.

  • Tabitha
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 04:26 pm

    Thank you Mark Yotter, and Amen!

  • Big Jim
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 06:51 pm

    "Remember people are not our enemy"

    "Our real enemy is the spiritual powers working behind the scenes"

    Right you are:

    "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  Eph 6:12

  • sxqak
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 05:02 pm

    The people advancing this resolution claim that those who speak the truth in regard to homosexuality cause distress  leading to depression and suicide. No it is only through the truth of the Creator of all will there be found any hope. Their true dispute is not with pastors and counselors but with God Almighty. And their only deliverance and salvation is through God Almighty and His salvation through God the Son. It is through the truth we are set free. 

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 05:07 pm

    Personally, I will be happy to give affirmation to the LGBT community:

    YOU, along with those of us who have more traditional views and lifestyles, are made in the Image of your Creator, who loves you! Intensely!  He wants the best for you, as He does us. And he has standards He expects all of us to live up to.  But when we mess up, as we ALL do (sin; violate His standards; live in defiance of His Will) He has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him—Through repentance, and coming to Him by acceptance of His Son Jesus Christ as Lord and the only possible means of bridging the gap between our sinful selves and God’s Holiness!

    God does not demand that you change, then come to Him.   He only says, “repent.”  Then, if your acceptance of His Lordship is genuine, He Himself will begin working whatever changes in you are needed.  The acceptance is not the end but only a first step;  the changes may not be easy but He will be with you every step of the way, to whatever extent you allow Him to be.  It is the same journey we are on.

    We love you (as we have been commanded by God), and pray you recognize and accept God’s Love for you!


  • MM
    Posted: Wed, 06/26/2019 11:45 am

    Beautifully said. Thank you, "OldMike".

  •  notalemming's picture
    Posted: Sat, 06/29/2019 11:31 pm

    I'm not in agreement with your statement as I don't think it addresses the issue of what this article is informing.  This issue is that the government of California wants to impose on those who teach "morality", i.e. churches, to discard Biblical truth on sexuality for a man-centered perspective on sexuality.  To discard Biblical truth....

    This is not about affirming the existance of the LGBT community, and it's not about shutting anyone out from the Gospel, it's purely another tool in the box for the LGBT community to impose their way of life as something we should all accept as normal, something that is ok with God.  Indeed we are to love our neighbors and our enemies, but I can not find any scripture that dictates that we should denounce God's truth for man's sake.  

    With that said, this is a violation of our Constitutional right to free speech.  What is needed to ensure we are stripped of our freedoms is for us to allow ourselves to be manipulated and indoctrinated into believing we are wrong when living out our convictions.  It won't be one thing that takes us down that road, but many small steps, like puzzle pieces, whereas it comes to a complete halt once the last piece is placed.  We must not be deceived because our feelings control our hearts.  What is God's truth, and are we willing to stand firm on His Word?    

  • SP
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 06:48 pm

    What precedent exists across the country for state legislatures to officially seek affirmation from religious bodies?  This is the first time I have heard of this type of action... and what are the consequences for noncompliance?

  •  CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Tue, 06/25/2019 09:12 pm

    Where is that alleged "seperation of church and state"?

    Charge them all with "conspiracy to commit a Civil RIghts violation"!

  • VISTA48
    Posted: Wed, 06/26/2019 04:50 am

    This has been one of the goals of the LBGTQ agenda from the very beginning. It is why they refused civil unions and demanded a redefinition of marriage. Once marriage was corrupted, penalties for those who refuse to embrace it is the next logical step. As Ravi Zaccharias says, sin will always take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

  • Midwest preacher
    Posted: Wed, 06/26/2019 05:50 am

    We live in very interesting times.  So similar to Germany in the 1930's.  As the power of government increased the right to be a Christian was not questioned but you must be a certain type of "Christian".  You may practice your beliefs but they must align with the dictates of the state.  The push was gentle at first and the restrictions were few.  What they are insisting on is that the churches repudiate the doctrice of redemption, the good news that our behavior can change because our heart is changed.  

  • TxAgEngr
    Posted: Wed, 06/26/2019 01:00 pm

    This is not a first amendment issue.  The homosexual lobby has successfully done the same thing in the business community.  They are luring the churches into arrogantly self-identifying themselves as for, or against, the homosexual agenda.  Its easier for the lobby to get the needed data if the churches willingly give it to them.  Then they can begin the long game of destroying the offending churches by public criticism from gay-friendly churches and making attendance at the offending churches appear unpopular to the young and enlightened, so to reduce their membership, income and influence.  Big Gay has successfully gotten the business community to do their bidding (see the HRC Corporate Equality Index), now it is time to get the church to comply.  Big Gay doesn't need state to destroy the church, the church can destroy itself for them.  Look for a rainbow flag coming to a church near you!!

  • not silent
    Posted: Wed, 06/26/2019 01:39 pm

    I read the resolution, and it doesn't actually say anything about the Bible or "Biblical views of sexuality."  Among other things, it says this: "The State of California has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors..." (Of course, it adds: "...protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by family rejection and attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity...") It also says: "In a pluralistic society, people differing along spectrums of political and religious perspectives share a common responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all children and vulnerable communities..." and "we call on the people of California-especially its counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators, and legislators-and the institutions of California with great moral influence-especially its churches, universities, colleges, and other schools, counseling centers, activist groups and religious centers-to model equitable treatment of all people of the state..."

    The good news is that I think ALL sides can agree on some of this-such as the fact that it's important to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors, that people who differ along spectrums of political and religious perspectives share this responsibility, and that moral institutions should model equitable treatment of all people.  And I know from personal experience that rejection from family can be terribly painful. 

    I also know from personal experience that the attempts by others to change me were rarely successful-in fact, they often felt controlling or even abusive.  In order to change, I had to be convinced that I NEEDED to change (usually because the pain of staying the same was worse than the pain of changing), then I had to learn how to let go and let God help me.  Nonbelievers will never be convinced that God's way is best unless they see it in action.  If we want to demonstrate who our God really is, we have to show others that he loved ALL the world equally-that he loved its people enough to DIE for them-and that he is our Wonderful Counselor and the God of all compassion. The Book of John says: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him." (John 3:17 ESV)  I'm not suggesting we compromise God's word or that we start acting like doormats, but I think our focus is in the wrong place if we think political or legal force is the best way to convince others that God's way is best. It is the Bible that tells us that the first and greatest command is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  

  • SG
    Posted: Sat, 07/06/2019 09:43 pm

    Thanks for your thoughtful input, Not Silent.  I have not read the original text, but if your quotations accurately summarize its intent, your additional comments are very appropriate, and needed.

    Posted: Fri, 07/12/2019 01:34 pm

    “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”  Luke 6: 27-28

    “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”  Luke 6: 32-33

    Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  Romans 12:17-19

    “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  John15:18-22

    May the Spirit use His Word to speak to the church, so that the church becomes more like Christ.