Legislation in California that sought to ban what is often derisively referred to as gay “conversion therapy” died Friday, as its main sponsor pulled it from consideration.
The bill, AB 2943, declared therapy to help individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction overcome it to be a fraudulent business practice under the state’s consumer fraud laws.
The Sacramento Bee reported Friday that Evan Low, the Democrat assemblyman who introduced the bill, withdrew it and was abandoning pursuing it this year. The bill had been green lighted by both chambers of the state legislature but had to be voted on again by the Assembly to approve the final version. Low said he pulled it because of insufficient time and that additional discussion was needed.
“The best policy is not made in a vacuum and in order to advance the strongest piece of legislation, the bill requires additional time to allow for an inclusive process not hampered by legislative deadlines,” Low said in a statement Friday, the last day of the legislative session for 2018.
“I believe we are on the side of the angels on this issue,” Low said. “Having said that, in order to get it right, why wouldn’t we want to engage in meaningful, thoughtful, transformational relationships and conversations?”
Christian groups across the state and nation have vocally opposed the measure since it was first introduced earlier this year, calling it a threat to religious freedom.
The bill was expected to easily pass the legislature and be signed by the governor. But amid massive public outcry, Low decided to delay moving the bill forward after meeting with clergy and others across the state on a listening tour.
Meanwhile, religious liberty advocates have welcomed the news.
“We are inexpressibly grateful to Assembly member Low for meeting personally with faith leaders over the last several months and sincerely listening to our concerns,” said Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, in a statement Friday.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter