Bill Donohue comments on an anti-religious freedom bill in California:
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez is sounding the alarm about SB 1146, the bill we recently warned would gut the religious identity of faith-based colleges and universities in California.
In a joint statement (click here) with Bishop Charles Blake of the 6 million member, worldwide Church of God in Christ, Archbishop Gomez warns that under the so-called “Equity in Higher Education Act,” religious schools that receive state funds or whose students receive state aid would be forced to adopt practices “contrary to their beliefs and teachings.”
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Ricardo Lara, would mandate bathrooms based on “gender identity” rather than male-female. It would require that married dorms be opened up to same-sex couples. It “even has the government setting guidelines for what ‘religious practices’ and ‘rules for moral conduct’ will be acceptable,” Bishops Gomez and Blake write. It could restrict a school’s ability to teach its religious faith or require student attendance at worship services, and it could be used to require that gay and lesbian clubs and activities be allowed on campus.
This goes way beyond the issue of gay and lesbian rights. It is clearly an effort to use that agenda to attack and weaken the moral foundations of Christianity.
It would also gravely weaken faith-based institutions financially, by forcing them to either compromise their moral principles or incur costly litigation to fight the bill’s anti-religion mandates. And it would especially hurt low-income and minority families, millions of whom, throughout California, utilize faith-based colleges and universities and depend on financial assistance to be able to do so.
This bill, which has already passed the California State Senate, is scheduled to come before the Assembly Appropriations Committee August 11. For more information about this issue, and a list of 40 influential Assembly members who can affect this bill, click here.