Should California elected officials tell pastors how to counsel men and women who have unwanted same-sex attraction? As of today, 54 legislators said they should.

The alarming language of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR 99) calls on “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.”

Resolutions do not carry the full force of the law, but they do indicate
approval or disapproval of something. For instance, ACR 99 states:

“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.”

“California law recognizes that performing conversion therapy on young persons is ineffective, unethical, and harmful.”

“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 among LGBT and questioning individuals.”

Regardless of what Scripture says and the thousands of years of the Church has been counseling men and women to live according to God’s design for sexuality, the state is now equating biblically based counseling with California’s banned “conversion therapy.”

We should see ACR 99 for what it is, a first step toward mandating that pastors counsel men and women who have unwanted same-sex attraction by affirming that attraction and disregarding God’s design for human sexuality.