FAITH Can Move MOUNTAINS
We pray you are having a wonderful summer. Perhaps a family vacation or getaway to refresh!
Speaking of vacation, the California legislature began its summer recess on July 12 and will reconvene on August 12 to complete the year’s legislative business. Right now, is a great time to visit your assembly member or state senator in his or her district office or at local events. You may wish to share your concerns about the pending bills that they will be voting on next month. Let them know you are a Concerned Women for America (CWA) of California member and are praying for them.
Here is the updated status of several bills we have been actively opposing, with current action:
SB 24 – Medical Abortions on Public University Campuses
Early abortions should not be part of the mission of California’s public universities. SB 24 (Sen. Connie Leyva’s, D-Chino) will require campus clinics to provide chemical abortions up to 10 weeks of pregnancy to college students on the University of California and California State University campuses. Then-Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the previous version of this bill as unnecessary. It still is, but Gov. Gavin Newsom has vowed to sign it. Help us stand for life!
SB 132 – Transgender Prison Bill
Under SB 132, inmates could be moved from men’s to women’s detention facilities based on their desired “identity” and “with or without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria or any other physical or mental health diagnosis, and regardless of anatomy.” The text states, “At any time, [an inmate] may inform facility staff of their gender identity, and facility staff shall promptly repeat the process of offering the individual an opportunity to specify the gender pronoun and honorific most appropriate for staff to use in reference to that individual.” They may then be housed in a single or double cell, dorm, in protective custody, or the general population based on that individual’s perception of health and safety.
SB 132’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), says this law is required for safety. We, too, believe it is important that no one be harmed in the course of his or her incarceration, but that safety should extend to women in female facilities who may be at risk when forced to share facilities with biological males who perceive themselves to be women – and without diagnosis or surgery.
Please Take Action: SB 24 and SB 132 will both be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee in August, and then likely head to the Assembly floor. Call your assembly member and ask a “no” vote on both bills. Be sure to let him/her know you are a member of Concerned Women for America of California. Find your Assembly member here.
AB 175 – Children’s Rights in Foster Care
Asm. Mike Gipson’s (D-Compton) foster care bill, AB 175, would allow 10-year-olds to review their foster care plans and require that all foster kids have prompt access to “reproductive and sexual health care,” including “gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming mental health care.” It also gives these at-risk children the right “[a]t any age, to consent to or decline services regarding contraception, pregnancy, and perinatal care, including, but not limited to, abortion services and health care services for sexual assault without the knowledge or consent of any adult.” The bill also requires foster parents to participate in training for cultural competency and sensitivity involving LGBTQ issues and to use names and pronouns preferred by the child – regardless of how it may conflict with their closely held religious beliefs or conscience.
AB 493 – LGBTQ Teacher In-Service Training
California schools are already required to have anti-bullying policies in place to respect all students. Teachers are currently receiving such training. AB 493, sponsored by Sen. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), requires all California public schools, including charter schools, to provide online in-service training to all teachers and certificated staff in grades 7-12, and adopt strategies to increase support for LGBTQ students. This will likely become on-site training if funding is provided for grants outlined in the bill and many schools are already implementing such training K-12.
The California Department of Education will develop the training materials, and active participation is required. Staff attendance will be tracked by the state. Teacher testimonies of their experiences in the training that is already occurring include shaming of traditional beliefs regarding sexuality and gender by the instructors. How pervasive this is will depend upon the school district.
CWA of California does not support the bullying of any student for any reason, and, we do not support requirements that teachers participate in training that conflicts with their closely-held religious beliefs or conscience and requires them to affirm such behavior. These two are not at odds, nor should they be seen as such.
ACR 99 – Resolution Denying Change Is Possible
Last year, CWA of California opposed AB 2943, which would have prohibited “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) for adults (such therapy for minors was banned here in 2012 by SB 1172.) AB 2943 was pulled from consideration by the author, Asm. Even Low (D-San Francisco), before its final floor vote. He indicated he wanted to work with pastors and other members of the faith community who objected to the bill’s premise that counseling for unwanted same-sex attraction is deceptive or even harmful and hoped to find “common ground.”
This year, Asm. Low has introduced a resolution, ACR 99, that does not have the force of law, but makes untruthful claims—and may pave the way for stronger legislation next year. SOCE, or restorative therapy, generally involves talk therapy for unwanted desires, yet ACR 99 makes broad statements about the pejorative term “conversion therapy” being “ineffective, unethical and harmful.” Practices associated with that term have not been utilized by any professionals for decades. ACR 99 denies that thousands have experienced change using restorative therapy, essentially denying the transformative work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives.
Please Take Action: AB 175 and AB 493 will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee in August, and then likely head to the Assembly floor. Call your state senator and ask for a “no” vote on AB 175 and AB 493. Be sure to let him/her know you are a member of Concerned Women for America of California. Find your state senator here.
ACR 99 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 12. Please contact members of the committee (find them here) and ask them to oppose ACR 99. If passed, it will proceed to the Senate floor, so please also call your state senator and ask him or her to oppose the resolution.
Please pray with me! We know prayer is a powerful force!
Please pray that the hearts of our California lawmakers would be open to Biblical truth, that they would vote not to further these efforts, but to stop them in their tracks. In so doing, they would save lives, protect precious children, preserve rights of conscience, and not oppose the work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives.
Thank you for making a difference with your prayers, action, and donations to our work in California!
CWA of California