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A video that is several years old is being circulated on social media, which talks about a bill that was proposed in the California State Assembly in 2018 but has already been withdrawn. The bill did not call for the banning of the Bible, as some have claimed, but rather aimed to ban conversion therapy, which is considered to be a harmful practice. Representatives of the legislature have confirmed that there is currently no bill in place that seeks to ban the Bible.
The video features Randy Thomasson, an anti-LGBTQ activist who founded the Campaign for Children and Families in Sacramento, providing commentary on California's AB-2943 bill. He argued that the bill would effectively ban books opposed to homosexuality. However, state lawmakers and a gay rights advocacy group confirmed that the bill was withdrawn nearly five years ago and was not reintroduced. An Instagram user who shared the video questioned if the Bible was going to be banned.
Jorge Reyes Salinas, an Equality California's spokesperson, confirmed that the interview with Thomasson was a response to the 2018 bill and not any current proposal before state lawmakers. Salinas also clarified that the bill did not aim to ban the Bible, as Thomasson and others claimed. Instead, it sought to make advertising or selling conversion therapy, which purports to change a person's sexual orientation, an unlawful and fraudulent business practice.
Assemblymember Evan Low withdrew the AB-2943 bill in September 2018 due to strong opposition from religious groups. The legislature passed Low's non-binding resolution the following year, urging faith leaders to embrace LGBTQ+ individuals and recognize the harmful effects of conversion therapy. Low's spokesperson, Jiovanni Lieggi, stated that the California Democrat has no plans to reintroduce the bill to ban the practice in California.
Democratic House Speaker Anthony Rendon's spokesperson, John Casey, confirmed that there are no bills related to conversion therapy or banning the Bible in the current legislative cycle. Reyes Salinas expressed his disappointment that false claims against the LGBTQ+ community are resurfacing and fueling hate towards them.