Focus On The Family Spreads Lies About Bill That Would Ban Gay Conversion Therapy In California

The Christian-based organization Focus on the Family is spreading numerous falsehoods in an effort to stop California bill AB 2943, which would ban gay conversion therapy services and goods.

Focus on the Family, which claims it is a church to dodge taxes, has engaged its political arm, the Family Policy Alliance, to smear AB 2943 by claiming it censors numerous types of free speech by Christians.

The Family Policy Alliance is using the legal wiggle word “could” in its false scenarios to drum up fear among Christians:

  • A therapist or pastoral counselor could be prosecuted for helping a 20-year-old who is struggling with her gender and pays for counseling to help her accept her God-given birth sex.
  • A Christian college could face punishment if a professor teaches about God’s design for sexuality.
  • Even a Christian bookstore owner or non-profit ministry that sells a book that contains similar messaging could face the long arm of the law.

PolitiFact notes what AB 2943 bans any “advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”

PolitiFact adds that “[s]omeone needs to be selling and someone needs to be buying a service called ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ for this bill to apply.”

FactCheck.org reports that sexual orientation change efforts are “practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

The fact-checking website Snopes says that current state law prohibits “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) for children under the age of 18, but AB 2943 would extend the ban to all ages and it would prohibit the advertising or sale of SOCE goods and services in the state”:

  • Prohibit SOCE from being performed on anyone, not only children under the age of 18
  • Prohibit the advertising or sale of SOCE as a service

(Sources: Family Policy Alliance, PolitiFact, FactCheck.org, Snopes, Photo Credit: Focus On The Family/Twitter)

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