California lawmaker pulls controversial ‘conversion therapy’ bill
by Mickey McLean
Posted 8/31/18, 03:59 pm
In a surprise move, Evan Low, an openly gay California assemblyman and the author of a highly controversial bill banning “conversion therapy” for homosexual adults, pulled the measure from consideration Friday. The bill, known as Assembly Bill 2943, was expected to pass the Democratic majority Assembly on what was the last day of the legislative session and to be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. But Low said he respected the concerns of religious groups in the state who said the bill would limit their freedom of speech and their ability to minister to those who wanted help with same-sex attraction, which they believed left them open to possible lawsuits.
“I believe we are on the side of the angels on this issue,” Low told the Los Angeles Times. “Having said that, in order to get it right, why wouldn’t we want to engage in meaningful, thoughtful, transformational relationships and conversations?”
California banned “conversion therapy” for minors in 2012, and AB 2943 was designed to include adults in the ban and deem any counseling to change someone’s sexual orientation a “deceptive business practice.”
Earlier this week, Kevin Mannoia, chaplain at Azusa Pacific University, wrote an op-ed for The Orange County Register expressing his concerns about the bill with the hope that Low and the LGBTQ Caucus would hear him and others. Low said Mannoia “demonstrated good faith” with his column, adding, “Could this be an opportunity for transformational change, in which you can get outside of the typical culture wars and come together and work with them to craft language that they might be able to support?” Mannoia responded, telling the Los Angeles Times, “Trust can be built. It’s well on its way. Communication can happen. Collaboration can happen.”
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Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital.