A resolution (ACR-99) introduced into the California Assembly calls upon pastors and other civic leaders to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism, and condemn “conversion therapy.” The resolution urges counsellors, pastors, churches, educators, and others to avoid supporting the historic Christian view of sexual ethics saying such support can result in high rates of suicide and depression amongst LGBT people. Pastors Ken Williams and Elizabeth Woning, both of whom once identified as gay and now co-lead a ministry called Equipped to Love, say the is “discriminatory” against people like themselves.
We overcame suicidal thoughts by following their faith away from their LGBT identities. For us, walking out our faith with biblical conviction means life and hope. Our faith has saved us from suicide and given us freedom to live with clear consciences,” Woning said. Williams noted in an interview that the resolution and its Christian supporters left him feeling like he no longer has a voice. “If there is no resistance to the idea that homosexuality must always be encouraged, then there is no ground for people like me to stand on,” Williams said. “How are people who have issues with their sexuality going to be able to get any help? Williams added.
“I don’t agree that every kind of therapy is causing LGBT people to kill themselves” Woning said. “ACR-99 leads Californians to believe all LGBT people have like-minded values and suggests that the LGBT experience is innate and unchanging,” she explained. “Many of us experience what the American Psychological Association concedes: that sexuality can be fluid. As a result, we find this resolution painfully discriminates against our rights to understand and shape our own sexuality.” Woning added that she and her colleagues were “never invited to any of the discussions regarding this resolution yet we represent those most impacted by any ban on counselling.”
“We too would like to be acknowledged and affirmed. Instead, activists attack our efforts to care for like-minded friends by promoting dangerous counselling restrictions and stifling our free speech,” she added. Williams feels the same way. “For years, I believed that even God hated me because of my behaviour,” he said. “But in my early 20s, I encountered a God who loved me despite my sins and temptations. Today, I love my life. I have been married to my beautiful wife for 13 years, and we have created four incredible children together. To someone like me, the proposed resolution, ACR-99, feels like an unfair and direct attack.”
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