Numerous commentators have raised concerns about a proposed bill currently in the California Senate, Assembly Bill 2943. The bill would amend the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act to prohibit “sexual orientation change efforts.”
Most discussion of the bill has focused on its potential ban on Bible sales. It seems much more likely that the bill will make religious education programs the target of “death by litigation.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is very clear on the church’s position on homosexuality in three sections:
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
If a religious education teacher refers to sections 2357-2359 of the catechism and, if AB 2943 is in place, the parish is exposed to a potential lawsuit.
The potential risk that parochial schools, particularly high schools where issues of sex and sexuality are a major part of students’ lives, will be ensnared by AB 2943 is also high. Parents at these schools pay tuition and are therefore paying for services and goods.
AB 2943 is impermissibly vague and broad. As drafted, it will impinge on the First Amendment rights of numerous religious groups. Many religious education programs will self-censor due to potential lawsuits. Those who refuse to do so risk being sued out of existence or into submission.
Full story at The Federalist.