Ex-gays and ex-trans rally against California’s LGBT therapy ban

30 former gay and transgendered people took to a podium outside the California statehouse to oppose a proposed law banning therapy for those who seek escape from LGBTQ+ identities and lifestyles

A protester of AB2943 shows an image with his wife and children. (image from LifeSiteNews)

In an amazing show of force, 30 former gay and transgendered people took to a podium outside the California statehouse to oppose a proposed law banning therapy and printed resources helping those who seek freedom from LGBTQ+ identities and lifestyles.  

Known as AB2943, the California Assembly Bill would essentially criminalize most if not all faith-based efforts to counsel members of the LGBTQ community.  

“California legislators have publicly claimed that change is impossible and those people simply don’t exist,” said a press release in advance of the event. “While the state celebrates those who embrace an LGBTQ+ identity, this bill will deny such choice and fluidity from anyone seeking to move in the opposite direction.”

At the rally, one former gay pointed out, “In ‘LGBTQ+’ the Q stands for ‘questioning,’” pointing out the hypocrisy of a law that allows all persons to question whether they might be gay but forbids gays to question their sexual orientation. “Let’s not talk out of both sides of our mouths here,” he added.  

“This legislation actually takes away rights from those who are questioning their sexuality,” said Ken Williams, co-founder of Equipped to Love. “We don’t want to see an America where the government is controlling how people identify sexually.”

“Women in California, not the government, should have complete authority over their sexuality and sexual expression,” said Elizabeth Woning, co-founder of Equipped to Love. “We all must be empowered to choose counseling and resources that align with our personal life goals.”

Luis Javier Cruz, one of the survivors of the Orlando, Florida, Pulse Nightclub massacre, noted the two-year anniversary of that tragic event where 49 were killed by a gunman.

Through that horrific experience, Cruz says he “found out that Jesus is the only man in my life who would die for me.”    

“The government should not dictate to us how we choose to live our lives,” continued Cruz. “If we can celebrate going in” the gay lifestyle, “we should be free to celebrate coming out of it.

“We’re not talking about taking choices off the table,” said one ex-lesbian, who is happily married to her husband and has two children. “We are talking about putting more choices on the table.” She added that if AB2943 had been around years ago, it would have pushed her back in the closet rather than letting her find the freedom she sought. “Let’s make freedom a choice for everyone.”

“If AB2943 were enacted as law when I was a young person,” said ex-gay Drew Berryessa, “I would not have found hope in my life.”  

“I take exception to the wording of this bill which calls the Gospel a fraud,” he said, explaining that the world once insisted that he identify as gay. “Yet I stand here today as a man married for 15 years, with three beautiful daughters.”   

Another man said it was a book that somebody gave him that saved his life. “That book would be illegal if AB2943 were to be passed,” said Andrew Franklin. “I learned how to have healthier relationships through this. Nobody forced me to change. I wanted to change.”  

Franklin said this to counteract the notion promoted by mainstream media that teens and adults are forced to change by what is popular labeled “conversion therapy.”

Christopher Simms, who suffered much abuse when he was young, once wanted to be a woman, and got involved with drugs and alcohol. Then he experienced healing through conversion to Christ. He explained that he used to have a deep desire to know men sexually and romantically, but no more.  

Speaking to the legislators in the building behind him, Simms pleaded, “Please don’t close the door on people like me who experience same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria because we were abused as children.”  

Full story at LifeSiteNews.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Pray for this man. He has done the right thing. Satan will surely try to attack him as he attacks fathers to destroy families the foundation of Christian society. There is always a seducer out there trying to take men away from their wives and children, so the family is destroyed. America has an epidemic of divorce.

  2. If gay isn’t an identity, if you can’t be gay to begin with, then you can’t be ex-gay either.

    Gay isn’t a valid sexual identity. There is male and female. That’s it, and those can’t be changed.

    Referring to people who have stopped acting on homosexual inclinations as ex-gays buys into and legitimates the false LGBT idea that gay is an anthropological identity.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Joe,
      The term “gay” is a reference to a homosexual who lives and promotes the gay lifestyle and agenda. A person who merely has same sex attraction is not gay. Admittedly, the term is used interchangeably in some circles.

      Please also refer to Chardin’s comments below.

      • Your Fellow Catholic says:

        Steve, I’ve appreciated some insightful past posts of yours, but I think you are mistaken when you say “The term “gay” is a reference to a homosexual who lives and promotes the gay lifestyle &agenda…” I think that’s not correct. LGBT people regard the term. “gay” to mean exactly the same thing as some call “Same sex attracteds”. The gay/LGBT community doesn’t make any claim that gay people are sexually active or politically “promotional” of a “lifestyle”. I know gay people who are committed to sexual abstenance. Its simply a recognition that they’re attracted primarily to people of the same sex than of the opposite sex. A person can be gay & celibate. A person can be gay & be married to a person of the opposite sex!

        • Kristin says:

          “YFC”, Consider how pro-life people avoid using the language of their opponents – they understand that “pro-choice” is a loaded phase intended to cause confusion. Though some may use it interchangeably, thoughtful pro-lifers do not.

          Interestingly, use of the word “gay” is increasingly denounced by homosexuals who have left the lifestyle or are trying to lead chaste lives. Check out Daniel Mattson’s “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay”.

          • Anonymous says:

            Kristin, it doesn’t matter that some gay people like MIchael Voris don’t use the term “gay” to identify themselves. People can call themselves a purple potato if they like. But most people would not call Michael a purple potato, because by purple potato they mean a cute oddity that lives in the ground. By not using the term gay in reference to themselves, people like Voris are making a political statement, not a linguistic one. However, if we let individual people redefine what OTHER people mean by the terms they use, then our entire language and ability to communicate as human beings erodes beyond recognition.

        • All .. Keep in mind that first, people can call themselves anything they want. Second, “homosexual” and “same sex attracted” are awfully formal and awkward in casual conversations. When I need to, I find describing myself as a lesbian is the most convenient.

        • Steve Seitz says:

          YFC,
          Thank you for the kind words.

          Yes, based on my observations, I agree that some, many, or most use the terms interchangeably. I also agree that this would be true of the gay community and, for the most part, the news media. In Catholic circles, though, there is a differentiation between the terms “gay” and “homosexual.” This difference has important pastoral [and even political] implications.

          The Church welcomes and loves the homosexual just as she welcomes and loves anyone else. But she doesn’t welcome the gay agenda which advocates for sin. The two words underscore the truth that the Church loves sinners but hates sin.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think most Catholics use the word “gay.” It does not imply that a person is in a relationship.

          • Your Fellow Catholic says:

            There is no Church term “gay”, it’s never used in official documents, and almost never used in more casual places like websites or public gatherings either. But, just for the sake of discussion, please enlighten me on the difference between gay and homosexual, and please point to a place where you derive your definitions that is not a circular argument based in your own head. The fact of the matter is that gay and homosexual are absolutely synonymous, despite your claims that there are pastoral and political implications. If there is a difference, then those who use the terms in different ways are completely failing to communicate with the people who are presumably the audience of the communication.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            YFC and Anonymous,
            I apologize for being late in responding. I’m very busy but will reply within 48 hours. Please check back then. 🙂

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Anonymous,
            The word “gay” doesn’t mean that one’s in a relationship. Rather, it refers to a homosexual who advocates for the gay lifestyle.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            YFC,
            In answer to your many comments, I’ll make short “bullet point” remarks.

            I was first told about the difference in terms about 30 years ago at St. John’s Seminary. I’ve used the terms accordingly ever since.

            People have used the two terms in specific ways on websites, but you simply didn’t realize it. As evidence, I’ve consistently done so on this website except in one post were I got lax.

            The terms are not synonyms: rather, the term homosexual is to gay as woman is to feminist.

            Lastly, about communication failures, I typically assume that people are roughly at my knowledge level. When a failure is evident, as there was in this case, I typically elaborate. In this case, two or three of us did.

      • Steve, most of us have a lifestyle which is pretty much like everyone else has. In my case the only “gay” things I do is meet with our whimsical Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Conversation and Potluck Group every three months or so, and write an occasional check to NCLR. Everything else is family, parish, the business and whatever recreation I can squeeze in.

        • Kristin says:

          “the only gay things I do” – NO C&H – as a homosexual apologist you carry the rainbow flag with pride on this site all the time.

  3. St. Christopher says:

    These courageous people should protest, although they must realize that totalitarians reject any dissenting views. In this regard, then, their protests will fail. Of course, the local Catholic leadership will likely remain cowards in all this, as they do not believe (most of them anyway) in Catholic teachings on homosexuality, to begin with.

    Just think of what this law really says. We, the State, want to make criminals out of people that seek to assist others with clearly abhorrent behavior. Ah, that’s it — you must celebrate the vileness of their sexual perversion, or be silent (or go to prison).

  4. “If gay isn’t an identity, if you can’t be gay to begin with, then you can’t be ex-gay either.
    Gay isn’t a valid sexual identity. There is male and female. That’s it, and those can’t be changed.
    Referring to people who have stopped acting on homosexual inclinations as ex-gays buys into and legitimates the false LGBT idea that gay is an anthropological identity.”

    To be “gay” is to subscribe to a certain philosophical world view that informs the way that one lives one’s life… Like being “Christian”. There are ex-Christians too.

  5. William Robert says:

    This is America. We now have legal marijuana in California. If people want to voluntarily get help for being LGBTQ, this should be legal. If we told people with cancer they couldn’t access treatment for the condition, this would be considered ludicrous and illegal. The same applies to this situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      William Robert, it’s not the person who seeks “help for being LGBTQ” that are illegal, or even their activity to seek out such help. It is licensed therapists who make unfounded claims that they can CURE being LGBTQ. The first is like saying that bald people who seek treatment should be “illegal”. The other is saying that people who sell you black talcum powder to shake on your head should be prohibited from marketing it as a CURE for baldness.

  6. I want to hear and see in print a loud and forceful support from the California Catholic Conference for the 30 courageous individuals who rallied against AB2943 which would criminalize all methods of helping those people who want to leave the LGBTQ lifestyle. The California Catholic Conference (CCC) should be leading the way in using any and all means to publicize just what AB2943 will do if allowed to pass. Every Diocese in the State of California should make sure that every parish has information for all members of the parish and should encourage phone calls and letters to their elected Assembly member. The CCC should also join with other Faith Based groups who may oppose AB2943.

    • Sorry, the bishops are too busy trying to find ways to canonically penalize Americans who enforce border security and applicable laws to do what you ask.

      • Anonymous says:

        Did you mean bishops who are opposed to telling parents that they are taking their children for playtime or for a shower, only to learn that they are being taken away for an undsclosed period of time, perhaps forever?

  7. I think it is a good idea to read the bill using the link in the article. That would shed light on the disagreement between Anonymous and William Robert. The bill’s author, Evan Low, asserts: “A church or individual may still practice conversion therapy if they do so without charging for this fraudulent service.” The flipside of this statement is that “a church or individual” cannot “practice conversion therapy” if there is a charge for the service.
    It would seem this would apply to the sale of books aimed at helping SSA people, since there is generally a charge for books.

  8. From http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/30/factcheck-org-wrong-californias-lgbt-therapy-ban-ban-bibles/:
    “Contrary to what many supporters of the bill have been saying, the bill’s application extends beyond mental health professionals . There is no exemption for religious instruction. We now have confirmation from AB 2943’s author that the bill would indeed apply “to a pastor, Bible study or house church leader, member of a parachurch organization working to help people afflicted by same-sex attractions, or indeed anybody who attempts change if goods or services involve an exchange of funds.”

  9. Again from http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/30/factcheck-org-wrong-californias-lgbt-therapy-ban-ban-bibles/
    ” …reminds me of constitutional lawyer David French’s observation in a recent National Review article.
    ‘To be sure, it is probably “too much even for [the California government] to sweep through Christian bookstores looking for books” that caution against homosexual practice or transgenderism, although French hastens to add that “the statute would empower such an action.” Nevertheless, “it’s far more likely that the recommendation or sharing of certain kinds of Christian books and other written materials would be deemed evidence of fraud and would present a core part of the case against a minister or counselor.’ ”

  10. “…the end result is the same: AB 2943 does not exempt from state action any oral or written communications associated with a monetary transaction that convey, in whole or part, that people should stop engaging in homosexual practice or expressing themselves as a gender at odds with their biological sex established before birth.” This again from http://thefederalist.com/2018/04/30/factcheck-org-wrong-californias-lgbt-therapy-ban-ban-bibles/.

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