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Legislation

A Compassionate Giant Awakened

California’s 2018 legislative deadline ended on October 1. And, even though past years have produced laws requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs advertising for abortion and allowing boys and girls to share the same restrooms, the bills that came out of the 2018 session were some of the most pro-LGBT, pro-abortion, anti-traditional family and Read More

Today’s Supreme Court Ruling a Severe Rebuke to California Lawmakers!

Riverside County, CA (June 26, 2018)  Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of NIFLA and against the Reproductive FACT Act, the California law that would force faith-based pregnancy centers to advertise for abortion.

Back in October 2017 in our case against this law, Scharpen Foundation v. Javier Becerra, a Riverside County Superior Court judge granted an injunction against the State, ruling it infringed upon free speech and therefore was a violation of the California Constitution.

After hearing about today’s concurring Supreme Court ruling, Robert Tyler, General Counsel for Tyler & Bursch’ LLP, commented, “After our victory in state court, and now this victory at the U.S. Supreme Court, our state case should be concluded and the judgment we received in our favor will no longer be subject to appeal by the State Attorney General. The California Legislature, Governor Brown and General Javier Bacerra should recognize this decision as a severe rebuke to their disregard for the Constitution.”

Nada Higuera, the Tyler & Bursch attorney who successfully argued the Scharpen case in Riverside County had this to say about the ruling, “The Supreme Court hit a home run and affirmed the principle that no American should be forced to speak a message that they disagree with. But this is not just a victory for free speech. It is also victory for the countless pregnancy resource centers and the women they serve. It is a victory for life!”

Both Robert Tyler and Nada Higuera will be available for comment and interviews today. Please call or text Desaré Ferraro at 714-348-0808 or email dferraro@tylerbursch.com.

About Tyler & Bursch, LLP and Advocates for Faith &Freedom: Tyler & Bursch’s attorneys have been serving businesses and individuals throughout Southern California for almost 20 years in federal and state trial courts, courts of appeal and arbitration. Tyler & Bursch provides legal and financial support to their non-profit law firm, Advocates for Faith & Freedom in defense of constitutional and religious liberty.

California’s LGBT Legislators Want to Take Away Freedom to Seek Therapy

Last week, AB 2943 passed out of California’s State Assembly with an overwhelming Democrat majority vote.

In another attack on the freedom to live our traditional values, this bill would make it illegal for anyone to sell books, videos, counseling and other services that might help a person overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion.

Despite claims to the contrary by its author, California’s LGBT Caucus Chair, Evan Low, this bill’s language is broad and presents a glaring case of viewpoint discrimination because it allows therapy if the patient and therapist want to confirm the same-sex attraction, but if the attraction is not desired the patient will not be able to receive restorative therapy.

Section 1 (c) “This bill intends to make clear that sexual orientation change efforts are an unlawful practice [emphasis added] under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act.”

(i) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any 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.  [emphasis added]

(2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding [emphasis added] of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.

Falling under the State’s consumer fraud law, this bill would make it a violation for a pastor to sell books or literature from the church bookstore that address sexual issues from a traditional values perspective, which could quite possibly include the Bible, because it teaches sexual morality and the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman.

CLICK to hear Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor, Jack Hibbs, warn of the dangers this bill could present to pastors and churches.  

AB 2943 would legally deny an individual struggling with unwanted feelings — for instance, a heterosexually married man or woman with children or someone whose goal is to reduce their same-sex attractions or behavior — to seek the therapy they desire. It would also be illegal for someone with unwanted gender identity confusion to receive counseling to discover their heterosexual potential.Advocates is already gearing up to fight, should this become law! Our traditional family values are at stake! The freedom to practice our Christian values is at stake! Our churches and pastors could be targeted!

We ask for your support, first with prayer and next, if you are able, with your donations. Please partner with us as we prepare to fight for hurting individuals who deserve the freedom to seek help from whomever they choose!  

If you would like to sign the petition for AB 2943 please go to this page.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Another Case Involving Compelled Speech…This Time in the U.S. Supreme Court

 Yesterday, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission–the well-known case between a same-sex couple and a Colorado bakery owner–was heard in the U. S. Supreme Court.

In her first case before the High Court, Kristen Waggoner, Senior Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom defended the Colorado baker’s constitutional right not to be forced by the government to create a custom-designed cake in celebration of a same-sex marriage–that promoting this sentiment through his creative work violates his traditional Christian faith.

This case not only affects religious libertiesit effects all freedom of expression!

As Advocates for Faith & Freedom learned in our victory in the Scharpen case against California’s Reproductive FACT Act, the freedom NOT TO be forced to speak should be just as protected by our government as the freedom TO be allowed to speak.

“The Supreme Court has never compelled artistic expression, and doing so here would lead to less civility, diversity, and freedom for everyone, no matter their views on marriage,” said Waggoner.

And many Americans seem to agree, because while Advocates for Faith & Freedom and other religious organizations filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Jack Phillips’ religious liberties, several others who actually support same-sex marriage realize the danger of a government that forces speech and also filed briefs in support of Phillips’ right to decline the customer’s order.

‘My bakery, my family, my life, the work I get to do, is a gift from God and I want to honor Him in everything I do,” says Phillips.

However, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission is arguing that Phillips’ refusal to decorate the wedding cake demonstrated sex discrimination and intolerance–and since, with many of the cases before the high court these days, the decision may come down to the opinion of one moderate judge–all ears were on the questions and comments of Justice Kennedy.

Comments like this from 81-year-old Kennedy give us hope for a ruling in favor of fairness and equality:  “It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.  

“My hope is that the court will use this case as an opportunity to say, ‘We’re protecting the liberty of both sides,” said Waggoner.

We pray that the High Court heard the oral arguments for freedom of expression with clarity and validity. We also pray that the arguments were received by the justices without bias and through His wisdom.

Advocates for Faith & Freedom would like to thank all our supporters for their ongoing prayers and tax-deductible donations which allow our attorneys to continue their pro bono work defending life and religious liberty cases like Jack Phillips’ in the courts!