California Banned Sales of Bible for promoting Biblical views of marriage and sex
California Government shall ban the sale of books that include traditional Christian views on marriage and sexuality
Certain messages doing rounds online claim California Government Banned the Sales of Bible and other books for promoting traditional Christian views on marriage and sexuality. They also carry screenshots of Television interview of an American politician appearing to tell the same. No, the claims as such are not true – California did not ban Bible.
Origin of Messages Claiming California Banned Bible
The claims relate to California Assembly Bill 2943 proposal to protect people from any attempt to change their sexual orientation. The Assembly Bill 2943 emphasizes the prohibition on ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ (SOCE), commonly called ‘gay conversion therapy’. The bill defines SOCE as “practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex“. It also prohibits a person’s own desire to change his/her own behavior. The Assembly Bill 2943 is in fact an amendment-extension of an already existing prohibition in case of children under the age of 18 to all persons, regardless of age. It addresses unlawful business practices and prohibits the advertising or sale of SOCE as a commercial service.
The claims related to California banned sales of bible became popular after an interview of Republican member Travis Allen in April 2018. On One America News Network, when the reporter asked him if the new bill would ban the Bible, Travis Allen said, “Yes, it would…”. See the interview in below video. Consequently, some false stories also surfaced online claiming California Government banned Bible because it contains sexual topics not good for children and are increasing sexual harassment on adults. Some satirical outlets also mentioned the bill and ran misleading stories claiming California Government is going to ban Bible.
No Ban on Bible
As such, the California Assembly Bill 2943 text did not mention Bible anywhere and California Government did not ban it. Initially, the bill proposed by Assemblyman Evan Low in early 2018 garnered major support in Assembly. However, a section of people feared the prohibition on ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ could apply not just to bibles and Christian counselors but also to regular psychiatrists. Consequently, California Family Council, hundreds of pastors and churches, and some ex-gays blocked the enactment of Assembly Bill 2943. They said it is indeed a threat to freedom of religion and can infringe freedom of speech of therapists.
After meeting faith leaders, in August 2018, Evan Low pulled off the Assembly Bill 2943 before final approval in Assembly. In a Facebook post, he also said he will continue to work on the bill. He wants to create a policy that best protects and celebrates the identities of LGBT Californians. On the other hand, LGBTQ community mentioned AB 2943 was eventually killed as a result of Christian opposition.
Hoax or Fact:
Hoax with some valid information.