In 2018, California Assembly Bill AB 2943 posed a direct threat to free speech and presentation of the Gospel message. Had it passed, this bill would have made it a “consumer fraud” to operate a paid event or offer paid counseling utilizing a biblical approach to human sexuality regarding same-sex attractions and gender identity.1

Passage of this bill would have prohibited Christian pastors, counselors, authors, educators, and ministries in California from suggesting in paid speeches, hosting paid conferences, or referring individuals to purchase books, curricula, or other resources that Christ can transform behaviors like same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. 

AB 2943 passed the California Senate. But thankfully, in late August, it was withdrawn by the bill’s sponsor in the California Assembly. This proposed unconstitutional law – at least for now – is not on the books.

The government should be protecting our freedom of speech. Unfortunately, individuals and ministries with outreaches in California, like Ratio Christi, are continually being forced to combat such broad attempts to squelch not only their words, but presentation of the transformative nature of the Gospel.

And if AB 2943 had passed in California, it’s likely other state legislatures would have considered similar measures, posing yet another threat to Christian organizations like Ratio Christi. 

If laws like AB 2943 pass, Ratio Christi’s work would be directly affected in these ways:

• At both the national and local chapter level, we would be unable to schedule any paid events or invite any speakers discussing traditional marriage, the biblical view on gender and purity, and any related topics about sexual orientation or preference. 
• Other groups would be unable to invite RC’s own speakers, authors, chapter leaders, or even students as presenters if payment is received at the event, no matter how nominal.
• Our many college chapters – which are all open to the campus public – would not be able to use any books, videos or other resources in meetings, or engage in debates with other student clubs on such topics, if payment is received. 

For a thorough discussion about the potential ramifications of passage of bills like AB 2943, please refer to this article at the Alliance Defending Freedom website and its embedded links. 

The withdrawn California bill may be viewed here

Footnote:
1 California AB 2943: “An Attack on the Heart of the Gospel”, Matt Sharp,  July 26, 2018, Alliance Defending Freedom. Retrieved 8/30/18.