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UPDATE: Your Action Needed on SB 524!

Now that the legislative session is over, we want to direct your attention and action to a few bad bills that have passed through the State Assembly and Senate and await the Governor’s signature. One of these is SB 524, another attack on religious liberty from Senator Ricardo Lara (the author of SB1146).

In California, there are a number of faith-based, private, nonprofit residential treatment programs that do wonderful work in helping minors who are victims of abuse and sex trafficking. These programs provide participants with a full school curriculum that incorporates religious components. California-based FACESS (Freeing American Children from Exploitation and Sexual Slavery) is one such program that has done incredible ministry helping the victims of sex trafficking, working in conjunction with local and federal law enforcement officials.

SB 524 would place private, religious nonprofits like FACESS under the same regulatory regime as secular foster care and group homes. This would have the following effects:

  • First, it would increase the costs for programs like FACESS drastically, to such an extent that it would be unaffordable for the sex trafficking victims who take advantage of the program.  
  • Secondly, it places these programs under the foster care/group home regulatory model, in spite of the fact that 70% of all sex trafficking victims are recruited from foster care and group homes!
  • Finally, it would prohibit these entities from offering traditional Christian teaching on questions of marriage and sexuality for their clients and students, violating the programs’ religious liberty rights. This is an unnecessary and onerous series of regulations for programs that manifestly contribute to the public good.  We urge Governor Brown to veto this noxious piece of legislation.

If you want to urge the governor to veto this bill, which has received opposition from various law enforcement departments, we urge you to use California Family Alliance’s advocacy tool to send him a pre-written letter that you can edit as you like.

As we saw with the successful gutting of SB 1146, your action does make a difference. Thank you for standing with us for religious liberty!


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