You may have already heard the good news about SB 1146, the bill that would have prevented lower income college students who receive a Cal Grant from attending religious colleges that uphold traditional Christian viewpoints on marriage and sexuality. After months of grassroots opposition, lobbying, and negotiation, Senator Ricardo Lara amended his bill to remove everything that CFC, our coalition partners, and the Christian colleges opposed. All the bill does now is to require religious colleges to provide greater notice of their moral conduct policies.
This was a genuine victory for religious liberty, and one of the most significant conservative legislative wins in years. It demonstrates that, with sustained grassroots support and intelligent lobbying efforts, conservatives can stop terrible legislation from passing in Sacramento. California Family Council and California Family Alliance were on the front lines in defeating this bill, helping to direct grassroots opposition and coordinating with colleges and other organizations throughout the state.
We wish primarily to thank you, our supporters, for your phone calls to your legislators, your letters, your advocacy, and your support. This victory belongs to you. Thank you for standing with us!
Unfortunately, even in the midst of victory, we are reminded of the urgent need for continued vigilance and action in defense of Life, Family, and Religious Liberty. Imminently pending before the California Assembly is SB 524, a bill that has remained dormant in Sacramento since September of last year, but has been revived at the very last minute. This bill is yet another attack upon Christian charitable institutions that uphold traditional Christian beliefs on homosexuality and marriage.
Right now, there are Christian residential treatment programs that help minors and young adults who have been victims of human trafficking. These organizations do incredible work, providing full educational curricula for minors within the program, and doing it all from a Christian perspective. FACESS (Freeing American Children from Exploitation and Sexual Slavery), based in San Diego, is one such organization.
SB 524 puts programs like FACESS under the same licensing standards as secular foster care homes. This would both increase these programs’ costs to unsustainable levels and prevent them from fully integrating their Christian beliefs on topics like marriage and sexuality into their educational and counseling programs.
This bill is yet another application of the principle that the extreme left is beginning to apply throughout society, and unsuccessfully tried to apply through SB 1146. They believe that no organization that maintains Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality should receive any form of state recognition or favor, and should be utterly pushed out of the public square. SB 524 is the next step towards this ultimate goal.
We won a significant victory against SB 1146, but there is no time to let down our guard. Stick with California Family Council and California Family Alliance for more updates about crucial legislation in the California Legislature, and what you can do to stop it.