A controversial bill in California could soon become controversial law in California.
At issue is Assembly Bill 2943, a measure that critics say would forbid counseling for people with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity issues. Attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute explains that it would also make it illegal to hold a conference with individuals who have overcome and had victory regarding those struggles.
"It even impacts potentially what a pastor is able to preach behind a pulpit," Dacus adds. "This is a very, very serious piece of legislation that infringes upon free speech, free exercise of religion, and professional speech as well."
The bill has already passed the State Assembly and the Senate judiciary committee.
"It's going to be skipping the appropriations committee and probably going to a direct vote of the State Senate this week," the attorney continues. "It's a fast-moving piece of legislation that we believe politicians want to get out of the way – because the longer it continues, the more of negative backlash it could have in key, pivotal races this November."
Dacus is convinced that activists will push similar measures in other states, should it pass in California – where legislation passed by the Assembly and Senate can become law if the governor simply chooses not to sign.
"That is the agenda, and that is why we ... are fighting this so diligently here on the West Coast," the attorney tells OneNewsNow. "If it becomes law, you can be assured that Pacific Justice Institute will be challenging it in a federal court. We hope that we don't have to do that, but that's how serious of an assault this is on basic religious freedom and free speech and civil liberties."