Assemblyman Low wanted a more meaningful approach

Assemblyman Evan Low, the author of Assembly Bill 2943 to stop paid “conversion therapy” shelved the bill on August 31. The motive behind this pause, as per Low, is to find consensus with the religious communities which vociferously opposed such a proposal.

Conversion therapy, also known as reorientation therapy or reparative therapy, is universally opposed by most medical groups including the American Psychological Association and the American College of Physicians. The two found no evidence for success of the practice. However, they warned that the process could cause harm to the mental health of the subject.

The bill, if brought and passed in its present form, would have made "conversion therapy" as a paid service a fraudulent business transaction under the California consumer protection law. The legislation had swiftly cleared all the legislative hurdles due to substantial Democratic majorities present in both chambers.

Church leaders are understandably happy. They say that the shelving of Assembly Bill 2943 is proof that anything can happen when churchgoers get mobilized, even in left-leaning California. Christian leaders believe this result was achieved as they took a moral stand when it came to controversial social issues. Many church leaders believe the church has taken a back seat in modern life as it has been silent until now.

The church warns that although this bill was shelved, many others were passed. Christian leaders reminded the faithful that the U.S. has already passed the bill which made LGBT history celebration in the country a mandatory affair.

Assemblyman Low was all set to go ahead with the bill but went on a listening tour after religious groups fiercely opposed the proposal, terming it a threat to their faith practice. He finally took the decision to pull Bill 2943 before the Assembly gave it their final approval. He, however, said it is his firm belief the Democrats were on the correct side concerning this issue. He said the bill should be amended and to that, one must engage in transformational, meaningful, and thoughtful relationships concerning this issue.

Low's measure had triggered a personal debate within the Capitol. The Assemblyman himself is gay and holds the chair of legislative LGBTQ caucus. He was emotional in his experience as a closet homosexual when he was in his teens, and when he deeply wished he was straight. He later realized nothing is wrong with him.

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