NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 24, 2018—Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, expressed deep concern toward a California bill that would make it illegal to sell or advertise resources that offer treatment or ministry to reduce or eliminate same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion.
“This proposed legislation goes to the very foundations of free speech and religious liberty and is both reckless and harmful,” Moore said. “This bill essentially outlaws views of sexual ethics held by most Christians, Orthodox Jews, Muslims and many others, all over the world and throughout history. If passed, it would have a chilling effect on religious institutions teaching their own beliefs, and would be a harm to all citizens, religious or not, by eroding basic First Amendment protections. My hope is the California Senate would demonstrate a commitment to the Bill of Rights and refuse to pass this deeply destructive bill.”
Moore also wrote a letter to California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) expressing deep concern over California Assembly Bill 2943 and asking him to veto the bill should it pass in the California Senate.
“You and I would no doubt disagree on many matters of moral definitions, and I do not seek, in this letter, to debate those issues with you,” Moore wrote in the letter. “I would hope though that we could agree on our constitutional heritage of freedom of speech and of religion.
“You have spoken in the past of your deep commitment to the First Amendment, and to freedom of speech, even for those views with which you disagree. You demonstrated that conviction last year when you vetoed AB 569, a bill that likewise targeted free speech and religious liberty. I was, and am, grateful for your constitutional consistency on that matter.”
The ERLC published an explainer that further explains the implications of this bill.