Gender first?

Gender first?

There’s a new California law nearing passage that would effectively prohibit even the argument that a person’s sexual behavior should conform to biblical standards. The California Assembly Bill 2943 would make it unlawful to engage in “a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” that advertise, engage in, or even offer to engage in, “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.” The bill defines sexual orientations change efforts as “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”—even if the efforts are invited by the individual (my words)!

This bill could actually prohibit someone from selling or even giving away certain books while helping a person with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria to change their behavior. To make a small point: A majority of children who exhibit gender dysphoria eventually defer to their natal sex for orientation—the dysphoria resolves itself in up to 95% of children as they grow older1. (The latest DSM-5 diagnosis of gender dysphoria refers to a marked discomfort with one's sex, and in children, a stated desire to be the opposite sex2.) However, under AB 2943, the very act of communicating even this message and medical fact to concerned individuals could lead to legal jeopardy.

Bottom line, Christians should define their identity in Christ first and not in their gender or sexual orientation. But, the state of California says nope—your gender and sexual orientation are your identity first, and that you should freely engage in any and all actions that celebrate this identity while anyone who believes otherwise should keep quiet or suffer penalties under the law.

1 Singal, J. (2016a, July 25)

2 American Psychiatric Association, 2013 American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA

Written by : Craig Stellpflug

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