California lawmakers are days away from the final committee hearing for a bill that would make it illegal to offer paid services to help people seeking to change their sexual orientation.
Assembly Bill 2943 is scheduled for its last committee hearing on July 2 in the California Senate Appropriations Committee. If passed, it will move to the Senate floor where legislators will cast their official vote in August.
Critics are concerned the law could ultimately threaten free speech and freedom of religion for Christians. It uses the state's consumer fraud statute to restrict religious freedom and free speech when it comes to issues of homosexuality and gender identity.
This means the bill would make it illegal to distribute resources, sell books, offer counseling services, or direct someone to a biblically based model for getting help with gender confusion and homosexuality.
Randy Thomasson with SaveCalifornia.com says the bill is likely to pass.
"No matter what logic or evidence is told them, the Democrats who control this committee are highly likely to pass and advance AB 2943 to the Senate floor, since there are five Democrats and only two Republicans on this committee," Thomasson told CBN News. "No Democrat has opposed it so far, and two of the committee's Democrats are AB 2943 coauthors."
In the meantime, pastors and ex-LGBT activists have been rallying in Sacramento to tell lawmakers how they believe AB 2943 will hurt them.
"AB2943 violates my right to choose," said Kris Olsen, a pro golfer and former lesbian who was helped by the counseling services this bill would ban. "It is a blatant violation of my First Amendment rights and I believe there's a reason why our Founding Fathers chose to put these rights in the very first amendment."
However, Thomasson says the protests are falling on deaf ears.
"Protests at the State Capitol and testimony by former homosexuals won't stop the bill, since the Legislature is controlled by unreasonable, perversity-loving Democrats," he said. "Yet the best protest that can be done is not at the State Capitol this election year. Concerned Californians should volunteer for candidates who oppose this immoral bill and oppose the Democrat incumbents who are pushing it through."
If the bill is made law, the Liberty Counsel will file a lawsuit.
"California AB 2943 is a very dangerous bill that will do a lot of damage to people seeking help with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told CBN News.
"People have the right to seek the counsel of their choice, but this bill substitutes the government for personal choice. The implications are staggering, and the result is harmful," he said.