AB 2943 passes Judicial Committee; sent to sent Appropriations Committee

By Michael Hernandez

SACRAMENTO—The State Senate Judiciary Committee passed AB 2943 by a 4-2 vote Tuesday which now takes the measure that outlaws helping anyone with unwanted same-sex desires or gender confusion to the seven-member Senate Standing Committee on Appropriations (chaired by Senator Anthony Portantino, D-25th District representing La Canada-Flintridge).  This Committee will not meet again until Monday, June 25th.  Other members of the Appropriations Committee include:  State Senator Patricia Bates (Vice-Chair), R-36th District representing Laguna Niguel; State Senator Jim Beall (D-15th District) representing San Jose; State Senator Steven Bradford (D-35th District) representing Gardena; State Senator Jerry Hill (D-13th District) representing San Mateo; State Senator Jim Nielsen (R-4th District) representing Gerber; and State Senator Scott Wiener (D-11th District) representing San Francisco.

The bill was co-written by State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-28th District representing Cupertino) and by State Senator Scott Weiner (D-11th District representing San Francisco).   Both Low (chair) and Weiner are members of the California LGBT Caucus formed in 2002 which assisted in the bill being brought forward.  The LGBT caucus includes:  State Senator Ricardo Lara (vice chair) D-33rd District) representing Bell Gardens, Assemblywoman Toni Akins (President pro-temp, D-39 District representing San Diego); Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes (D-60th District representing Riverside), State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-5th District representing Stockton), State Assemblywoman Susan Eggman and former chair of the LGBT Caucus (D-13th District representing Stockton) and State Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-78th District representing San Diego).

Photo of State Assemblyman Evan Low (D-28th District, Cupertino) author of AB 2943 in Assembly

The vote by the seven member Judiciary Committee chaired by State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-District 19) representing Oxnard and Santa Barbara who voted yes; also includes yes votes from  State Senator Henry Stern (D-District 27) representing Thousand Oaks/Moorpark/Simi Valley, Calabasas and Canoga Park; State Senator Robert Hertzberg (District 18) from Van Nuys representing the San Fernando Valley; State Senator Bill Monning (Senate Majority Leader from District 17) representing Carmel. State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-District 10) representing Fremont) was not present for the vote at the hearing but has previously voiced his support for the measure.

Voting No on AB 2943 was State Senator John M. W. Moorlach (Vice Chair/R-District 37) representing Costa Mesa; and State Senator Joel Anderson (R-District 38) representing Alpine).

State Senator Moorlach stated that he received 1,000 calls on Monday mostly opposing AB 2943 stated:  “I have not seen any advertisements guaranteeing a change of sexual orientation by therapists or counselors.”   Moorlach expressed his concern about the lack of payment for counseling services that resulted in a sexual orientation change.   He also expressed his concern how under the Consumer Remedies Act, change of sexual orientation would be considered “a fraudulent act” and placed in a list of 27 items considered “unlawful” under the Unfair Business Practices Act.  “This will force those seeking therapy to find a non-licensed practitioner and limit people’s choices for seeking help for themselves.”

State Senator John Moorlach (R-27th District, Costa Mesa) raising questions about AB 2943 during hearing

Over 350 witnesses voiced their opposition to the bill during more than one hour of public comments which State Senator Jackson said was the largest witness ever given at a public hearing before the State Senate Judiciary Committee.  The two official experts called to tesify against AB 2943 were Pastor Jim Domen, executive director of a network of 700 churches in an organization called United Church and Elizabeth Woning, co-founder for a ministry called Equipped To Love that brought forth 30 plus “once gay” individuals from across the nation to share their testimonies at the Capitol. 

Equipped To Love presented State Senators with a book “CHANGED”  which had 37 “once gay” testimonies.  The preface of their book states:  “every person should have the freedom to pursue counseling and personal life changes that bring them true happiness.   Yet AB 2943 takes that freedom away…These stories of change…might never have happened if that freedom were taken away…May we suggest that California lead America in acknowledging these divergent paths and celebrate the freedom we all have to follow our convictions.”

Meanwhile, inside the State Capitol during the AB 2943 hearing, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson was saying:  “There is overwhelming medical evidence that sexual orientation cannot be changed and this amended bill only targets services and not goods (such as books).  It does not prohibit Bibles, only from making medical promises of guaranteed sexual orientation change which does damage.  We just want to see unfair business practice under 17200 of the eliminated.”

Assemblyman Evan Low at the hearing said:  “The bill prohibits the commercial advertising to change sexual orientation—the exchange of money in making that claim.”  Low also acknowledged that the bill had been amended (Editor’s Note:  This will require a new vote from the Assembly floor) removing language that prohibited the sale of goods (books).

Preceding the vote was a “Day of Action” with 500 hundred citizens opposed to AB 2943 organized by Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council—associated with Focus on the Family; Ken Williams of Equipped to Love; and Karen England of the Capitol Resource Institute.   At the rally was Pastor Rob McCoy of Thousand Oaks Godspeak Calvary Chapel.   Speakers at the “Day of Action” included Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and Dr. John Jackson, president of William Jessup University (Rocklin, California).  Printed Prayer cards stating “United In Prayer in opposition to AB 2943” were  were distributed to rally participants by Concerned Women for America of California.

Two official hearing witnesses opposed to AB 2943 discussing before testimony to
State Senate Judiciary Committee (left Pastor Jim Domen, founder and president of Church United) and right Elizabeth Woning, co- founder of Equipped to Love). Middle person is Ken Williams (co-founder of Equipped to Love and organizer of “Once Gay” morning rally held in the west steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento.

Photo Credits: Michael Hernandez

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens JournalVentura Countys online news service, founder of History Makers Internationala community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  He has worked 23 years as a middle school teacher.   Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email:  [email protected].

Mr. Hernandez is dedicated himself to advance the 13 spheresas a City Upon A Hill; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships and supporting constitutional awareness and active citizenship.

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3 Responses to AB 2943 passes Judicial Committee; sent to sent Appropriations Committee

  1. Debbie June 14, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Making this law doesn’t change anything. 1Corinthians 6:9 calls out homosexuality as an ungodly act. It is a sin for a man to lay with another man or a woman to lay with another woman. I do not say it is wrong, but God who is creator of all things says it is not to be done. Homosexuality is a sin just like lying, stealing, murder and so on. God laid out the law and no man or group of people can change God’s sovereign law. With that said, people who are involved in the sin of sexual immorality are loved by God. How can God deny his own creation? God is not pleased with their sin or anyone else’s sin for that matter. We are all a sinful people. The Bible says none are righteous. This is the reason God sent Jesus to die for us. Jesus covers are iniquities; all of them!! The answer will always ly in having a relationship with Jesus Christ. No man or law can ever change this truth. Please don’t be upset by what I say, for I am not the one saying it, but God says it. Truth is easy to find and easy to know. Simply pray and ask God to show you truth. I know without a doubt that He will show you what you ask for. The world is not the place to find your answers to the meaning of life. Those answers can only be found in God and in His Holy Word which is the Bible. I pray for all peoples in this world to seek the Lord and be Blessed beyond your imagination.

  2. Joan Lopez June 13, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Thank you, Mike Hernandez, for attending this hearing in Sacramento and for reporting on this bill. I was interested in what senators voted yes or no; also reading about the rally.

  3. Catherine Norman June 13, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you for reporting on this important issue regarding freedom-of-speech and freedom of self-determination. The senate judiciary committee vote shows the majority of these particular senators are not interested in justice.


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