California MassResistance pounded the pro-LGBT political establishment on Wednesday, June 29, by staging an in-your-face protest at the office of State Senator Ricardo Lara in Long Beach. Sen. Lara, a radical “gay” activist, is the sponsor and main force behind the infamous Bill S1146.
Bill 1146, a product of the national LGBT movement, is considered by many to be the most aggressive anti-religious legislation in the country. Its goal is to force Christian colleges to surrender their opposition to homosexual and transgender behavior. As we recently reported. It would require Christian colleges that want to keep their Christian values intact to publicize their “discriminatory” policies and open themselves up to vicious attacks and state (and federal) lawsuits.
On June 23 the bill passed the California Senate. It was set to go before the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday, June 30. So June 29 seemed like a good time to pay a visit to the sponsor’s office.
Most pro-family groups are content to issue statements and try to generate phone calls. California MassResistance goes the extra mile. “They need to see us and hear our voices,” says Arthur Schaper, director of the California MassResistance. Arthur quickly brought together a coalition of local churches, local MassResistance activists,.and got great help from SaveCalifornia.com. “Let’s be blunt. The LGBT movement is not about individual liberty, but collective tyranny,” said Arthur.
Arthur had made an appointment for himself and five others to meet with Senator Lara’s staff (and they hoped the Senator) at 4:30 pm that afternoon.
People began gathering on the sidewalk outside the office building around 3:30 pm. “The turnout was beyond my expectations, and certainly shocked the state senator’s office,” said Arthur. People from Los Alamitos, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Torrance, Lomita, Long Beach, and Fontana all assembled in front of Lara’s office demanding that he pull his terrible bill.
They were met by California State Police in front of the building (also parked behind the building). But they held their ground and the State Police politely backed off and let them continue.
California Highway Patrol officer politely backed off after the protesters stood their ground.
A California Highway Patrol car — with a trooper sitting inside — was parked in back of the building. A few of the protesters went over and chatted with him. “I’m just here to make sure nothing happens,” he said. “We heard there was supposed to be a protest here.”
Pastors, parents, and professionals of all backgrounds came. They were lined up and down Atlantic Ave., reminding businesses and passersby about the religious bigotry that Senator Lara was pushing in Sacramento.
Students and others from nearby Biola University, one of the most prominent Christian universities in the country, also protested with them.
A Biola University student and his parents came to the protest.
Leading the protest, Arthur exhorted both participants and passersby in terms rarely heard by the too-often muted pro-family movement. “Transgenderism is not a ‘right’, it’s a disorder. We have to attack the core lie so we can set people free.”.
People driving by honked in solidarity. Some people walking down the sidewalk asked what the demonstration was about. Members of the different churches explained the protest against Lara and his anti-religious agenda.
Watch this VIDEO – A REAL protest! You’ll never see this from the pro-family establishment. (6 min 1 sec)
Senator’s staff cowardly ditches the scheduled meeting
At 4:30, Arthur went upstairs for his scheduled meeting and discovered that the door to Sen. Lara’s office suite was locked and the entire staff had left the premises! A note on the door simply said, “Out in the field.” (The office advertises its office hours as 9 am to 5 pm.)
Sign on the door of Sen. Lara’s office suite. “He’s running scared,” was the general reaction.
Arthur came out and told the protesters. Most of them turned and went back upstairs with him, and continued their protest in the hallway! They signed their names on the note on the door, or left notes for the staff.
“California MassResistance will not stop until SB 1146 is dead,” said Arthur. “More people are rallying to our side, and the Democratic political machine is starting to feel the pro-life, pro-family heat! And believe me, we have a lot more planned.”
Text of bill gets modified!
Did all this have an effect? The following day it was announced that Sen. Lara had modified the text of Bill 1164, for its Judiciary Committee public hearing on Thursday, June 30. In an apparent effort to “soften it” he put back language that he had previously removed, so “ministry” programs would be exempt from the proposed law.
But that’s a small concession. The brunt of the bill still remains for all other aspects of life at Christian colleges. And the new bill also adds language that specifically forces the homosexual and transgender agenda into the schools’ dorms, codes of moral conduct, extracurricular activities, and even official religious practices!
The June 30 Judiciary Committee hearing – a sham!
On June 30, the day after the protest, the Judiciary Committee of the State Assembly held a hearing for the bill with its modified text. Arthur and others had rallied activists in the Sacramento area to come to the State Capitol and testify.
But the establishment clearly felt the bill was now on shaky ground, and they decided to shut down the opposition. By the standards of legislative public hearings that we’ve seen and attended around the country, this was a complete sham (and we don’t say that lightly). You can watch the video of the hearing here.
The committee chairman arbitrarily decided to curtail the testimony from pro-family people. And he rudely cut them off when they tried to say anything but their names and position on the bill.
The entire hearing lasted less than an hour. Sen. Lara was allowed an open-ended opportunity to speak for the bill, both at the beginning and throughout the hearing. In all, three speakers (including Lara) were allowed to testify in favor of the bill and three against it. They were given about five minutes each. Outrageously, one of the speakers “against” the bill was an ACLU official who said she supported the intent of the bill but was “against” it because it didn’t go far enough!
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ricardo Lara, an LGBT activist, was allowed to speak as much as he wanted.
One of the three people allowed to give testimony against Bill 1146 was this ACLU state official — who supports the bill’s intent but is “against” it because she thinks it isn’t anti-Christian enough!
There were about two dozen additional members of the public who came to testify. But they were only allowed to quickly state their name, affiliation, and whether they supported it or not. (They were all against it!) They weren’t allowed to give any reasons, or say anything else. They clearly did not even want to hear any opposing arguments at all. If they attempted to say anything, they were quickly cut off by the Chairman. It was unbelievable!
Sham public hearing. Dozens of people traveled to the Capitol in Sacramento to testify against the bill. But the Chairman only let them to quickly give their names, their affiliation, and whether they supported or opposed the bill — but no actual testimony. If they tried to say anything further, they were immediately cut off by the Chairman. No such “rule” exists, but the Chairman imposed it anyway. All of these people were opposed to the bill.
According to a former pro-family member of the California Assembly we spoke with, this is not unusual on these types of contentious “culture war” issues. Liberal Committee Chairmen can be vicious against those with pro-family opinions they don’t like. They sometimes simply make up the rules as they go along regarding who gets to testify, and for how long, just to stifle the opposing views.
After the public’s “testimony” several of the Committee members spoke. The Committee Chairman and other Democrats described how they felt the bill was vitally necessary, and must be passed. The Vice-Chairman, a Republican, said that this bill is bad because it is designed to let activists sue colleges to make them give up their religious freedoms. But not surprisingly, no one speaking against the bill suggested that the things supposedly being “discriminated” against – transgender and homosexual behaviors – are immoral, unnatural, harmful to the individual’s and the public health, and mentally dysfunctional. Ultimately the failure to make these clear points diminishes the credibility of the pro-family arguments.
In the end, the liberals had their way — this time. The committee took a vote and passed it 7-2 along party lines, with one Republican cowardly abstaining.
Next: Another committee in August, then to full House vote
The Judiciary Committee had not really been lobbied by California MassResistance, with everything moving so fast. So there was little or no push-back to their railroading it through. Unfortunately, it’s a common problem with the pro-family movement. That’s about to change.
The California Legislature is taking a break during July and will re-convene in early August. There is yet another committee that Bill 1146 must go through – the Appropriations Committee – before it goes before the full Assembly for a vote, and (if it passes those) to the Governor’s desk.
The Appropriations Commttee hearing has not been scheduled yet, but would likely be between Aug. 4-9. We were told that there is no public testimony taken at that hearing, just “discussion” by the Committee members and a vote. If it passes, it could be on Assembly floor by the 15th.
Often, California politicians purposefully let a bill linger over the July summer break before finally bringing it to the floor, hoping that the momentum against it will subside. But that’s not going to happen here. On the contrary, California MassResistance is using the time to focus on members of that Appropriations Committee (and people in their districts). And there’s a lot of other activism in the works to stop Bill 1146 going on right now. California MassResistance is not resting.
We will keep you informed!