Originally published in Charisma News
Bethel Church issued an urgent call to action last weekend in regard to several upcoming bills in the California legislature. Much of the action is required by Monday March 26.
The church says they rarely venture into politics, but felt the bills harmed the body of Christ as a whole. In a press release, the church says:
We want to bring attention to some alarming upcoming legislation in the state of California. We have been made aware of three upcoming bills concerning same-sex attraction and gender identity in children and nonminor dependents. We are releasing this statement in an attempt to educate families and ministries connected across California that may be of like mind on these issues. These bills are troubling to us. Therefore, we have made this uncommon step of broadcasting our concern and encouraging the faith-based community in California to research and contact your assembly members regarding these bills.
If these bills passed, it would be illegal for anyone to sell resources that offer treatment or ministry in order to reduce or eliminate same sex-attraction or gender dysphoria. This includes conferences, counselling, teaching, books or publications where money is exchanged for the resource. Also, children in foster care who expressed gender identity issues would be prohibited from receiving counselling or medical services that encouraged the child to embrace their biological gender. And those who are asking for resources to assist with addressing unwanted sexual attractions or gender identities would be prohibited from accessing mental health providers, even if they themselves desire such resources.
For Christians who live in California, the church movement asked for residents to email or send a letter to their representative. For those outside the state, Bethel asked to share the information via social media.
“We have a hope-filled anticipation for California and our prayers are that the Lord would continue to shine His favour on this land,” the church says in the release.
The specific bills Bethel issued a warning about include the following. For each bill, Bethel composed a letter that residents can send their legislative leaders:
AB 1779 Regarding Sexual Orientation
Proposed bill to ban mental health providers from assisting in sexual orientation change efforts for adults under a conservatorship or guardianship who express same sex attraction or gender dysphoria. The bill amends legislation that already prohibits mental health providers from any kind of effort to treat same sex attraction or gender dysphoria in children under the age of 18. (We oppose the bill and the existing legislation.) Click here to read the Bethel letter.
AB 2943 Regarding Unlawful Business Practices
Proposed bill to prohibit resources concerning treatment or ministry in order to reduce or eliminate same sex-attraction or gender dysphoria. Essentially, conferences, counselling, teaching, books or publications where money is exchanged for the resource would be prohibited. Click here to read the Bethel letter.
AB 2119 Regarding Foster Care
Proposed bill that mandates that any child in foster care expressing gender identity issues must only be provided counselling and medical services that affirm the gender identity that the child believes they have. Any professionally-guided exploration questioning that belief or encouraging the child to embrace their biological gender would be prohibited. Click here to read the Bethel letter.