California Bill Forces Summit Ministries to Relocate Its Young Adult Conference

AB 2943 prohibits businesses and professionals from offering help to young adults for same-sex attraction or gender confusion.

By Nancy Flory Published on May 1, 2018

A Christian ministry that helps teens and young adults live their faith has suspended its young adult conference in California and seek a new location. California’s AB 2943 may become law and they’re worried that conference speakers might be persecuted under the new law.

AB 2943

Summit Ministries “helps students develop an intelligent, defensible Christian worldview.” Summit had planned to hold a conference in June at Biola University, but realized AB 2943 could soon become law in the state. The proposed law forbids businesses and professionals to offer “to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” Doing so amounts to “deceptive business practices,” according to the bill. 

Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus Evan Low introduced the bill.

‘Chilling of Free Speech’

Jeff Myers, the president of Summit, said young people ask questions about gender confusion and gender identity. “What are we going to say to a young person experiencing sexual confusion?” Myers asked in a statement. “That the state of California forbids us from allowing a biblical ethic embraced by billions of people for thousands of years to inform our answer?”

“This is the most blatant chilling of free speech in America in my lifetime,” he added.

Mat Staver is the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. He told CBN News that Liberty is fighting to keep the harmful bill from becoming law. It “will do a lot of damage to people seeking help with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.”

Staver added that the bill intrudes on an individual’s freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. “It includes anyone who speaks or offers a book with regards to advertisement.” If the bill passes, Liberty Counsel has promised to file a lawsuit.

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Summit will proceed with its other meetings this summer in Colorado, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. 

Myers said that Summit will not “bend God’s truth to accommodate the state of California.”

“We are grieved that it has come to this, but we simply cannot put our students, staff and faculty at risk,” said Myers. “We are still free to present our conferences in 49 states — and we are grateful for that. Now is the time for Californians to rise up and challenge their representatives to respect biblical values.” 

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