Monday, July 01, 2019

A Few Thoughts and Questions for ACR 99

I have read ACR 99. Here are some questions and comments I have re. it. For potential dialogue. My thoughts are in bold. (More thoughts and questions will likely be coming into my head.)

June 4, 2019
Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 99—Relative to civil rights.
Introduced by Assembly Member Low
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Cervantes, Eggman, and Gloria)
(Principal coauthors: Senators Atkins, Galgiani, and Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Chiu, Chu, Friedman, Gabriel,
Cristina Garcia, Gipson, Gonzalez, Kalra, Kamlager-Dove, Levine, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Smith, Mark Stone, Ting, Wicks, and Wood)

June 04, 2019

Relative to civil rights.

Relative to civil rights.


ACR 99, as introduced, Low. Civil rights: lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people.
This measure would call upon all Californians to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance, upon religious leaders with conviction to counsel on LGBT matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy, and on the people of California and the institutions of California with great moral influence to model equitable treatment of all people of the state.

[WHAT IF a same-sex oriented person sees their condition as a disorder, and wants to change? Are we to tell them change is not possible? How can we conclude this? What about testimonies of people who claim to have changed? How do we adjudicate between those testimonies and testimonies of some who have not changed?

What if I believe people can change? Even if I am wrong, what if I don’t think I am wrong? Am I to suppress this?]

WHEREAS, The California State Legislature has found that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming; and

[The Christian claim is that all persons are fundamentally disordered. Disorder, of various kinds, is the norm. Brokenness is the norm. This includes both genetic brokenness and environmental brokenness.
We are all born with certain propensities towards disorder. This is not just some "religious thing." Much secular psychology supports this, especially genetic studies. The Judeo-Christian view confirms this.
See Freud, e.g.  Et. al.]

WHEREAS, Major professional associations of mental and physical health recognize that being LGBT is part of natural variations that occur in sexual orientation and gender identity, and recommend responsive services that foster self-acceptance and skills to cope with social stigma and discrimination; and

[“Natural variations occur in sexual orientation and gender identity.” How about environmental variations; i.e., variations attributed more to environment (“nurture”) than “nature?” How can we determine this? Is it important to determine this, before we evaluate?
Surely there are natural variations we would not encourage someone to  accept. What about a genetic propensity to addiction? Would we foster self-acceptance in such cases?]

WHEREAS, Practices or therapies that attempt to  create a change in a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are often referred to as conversion therapy; and
WHEREAS, Some family, caregivers, and communities promote conversion therapy when a person is known or thought to be LGBT; and

[Is “conversion therapy” any attempt to foster sexual orientation change? As a pastor I do not promote conversion therapy. But, I do have persons coming to me hoping for change. If someone comes to me, rather than me pushing it on someone, am I to refuse to help them, as best I can, even if this involves praying for them?]

WHEREAS, California law recognizes that performing conversion therapy on young persons is ineffective, unethical, and harmful; and

WHEREAS, Conversion therapy has been rejected as ineffective, unethical, and harmful by leading medical, mental health, and child welfare organizations in the United  States; and
[Still, some persons (the number is here irrelevant) claim conversion. How can their voices be denied?]

WHEREAS, The stigma associated with being LGBT often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBT and questioning individuals; and
WHEREAS, The State of California has a compelling interest in protecting the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including LGBT youth, and in protecting its minors against exposure to serious harms caused by family rejection and attempts to change sexual orientation or gender identity; and
WHEREAS, In a pluralistic society, people differing along spectrums of political and religious perspectives share a common responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of all children and vulnerable communities; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature calls upon all Californians to embrace the individual and social benefits of family and community acceptance; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature calls upon religious leaders with conviction to counsel on LGBT matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy; and be it further
[Again, what if some claim benefits of therapy in changing their sexual orientation? Are we to deny them their testimony? Are we to say they are wrong? Or misguided? Remember - this cuts both ways.]

Resolved, That in addressing the stigma often associated with persons who identify as LGBT, we call on the people of California–especially its counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators, and legislators–and the institutions of California with great moral influence–especially its churches, universities, colleges, and other schools, counseling centers, activist groups, and religious centers–to model equitable treatment of all people of the state; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.