California MassResistance: Full-court press against LGBT anti-religion bill during July legislature recess
Confronting numerous State Assembly members at local offices; see photos
Bill targets Christian colleges
Video: Confronting the state GOP Minority Leader
August 2 2016
While the California Legislature was in recess during the month of July, the fight intensified. California MassResistance activists personally went to numerous Assembly members’ local offices, and engaged them at their public events. (See below.) They also put the pressure on local city governments to formally oppose the bill.
Bill targets Christian colleges
SB 1146 would officially label private Christian colleges with Christian values, morality, and even dorm policies which conflict with the LGBT agenda as “discriminatory,” and make the colleges liable to state (and federal) lawsuits as well as vicious attacks by activists. The legislation would also limit the Title IX exemptions to religious courses and training. The goal is to make Christian colleges surrender their belief systems and force the LGBT agenda onto every facet of education. California is the first state in the US to attempt this outrageous action. If it passes there, it will surely spread to other states.
On May 26 the bill passed the California Senate and went to the Assembly. It sailed through two Assembly committees.
On Wednesday, August 3, SB 1146 will be before the Appropriations Committee. If it passes there, it goes to the floor of the State Assembly.
UPDATE: SB 1146 did NOT pass the Appropriations Committee on Aug. 3. However, the committee will take it up again on Thursday, Aug. 11. But if it does not pass the committee by Aug. 12, it is killed! We are continuing to fight hard!
Direct confrontational approach
A key ingredient to being effective is being 100% truthful about the nature of this battle, which too many pro-family groups are unfortunately reluctant to do.
As Arthur Schaper, director of California MassResistance, says:
Barry Corey, the president of Biola University, one of the oldest Christian colleges in California, issued a statement about this legislation: "We don't them want to change who were are."
This approach does not attack the core issues relating to this agenda, that so much of it is predicated on lies and distortions. In fact, homosexuality is a destructive behavior and transgenderism is a mental disorder. They are not civil rights.
In spite of the tepid response from most establishment pro-family groups, California MassResistance is taking on a more direct, confrontational approach. It’s just not effective to merely rely on persuasion. Most lawmakers must feel the heat to see the light! Our team is committed to making that very clear to legislators.
Taking the fight directly to California Assembly members!
After SB 1146 was passed by the hostile Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 30, California MassResistance members knew that they had their work cut out for them. Pro-family people across California immediately began to contact members of the Appropriations Committee.
From there, our team planned specific visits to confront specific lawmakers – both Republicans and Democrats – in Southern California and hold them accountable to vote against this terrible bill. We were targeting not just members of the Appropriations Committee, but members in swing districts or tight races.
As in the past, we also got help from churches and other pro-family groups, particularly SaveCalifornia.com, which is a great partner in this fight.
As far as we could tell, few of these Assembly members had been actually visited by people opposing SB 1146. And we brought actual constituents of the Assembly member.
1. At office of David Hadley (R) – in Torrance
On July 15th, members of California MassResistance attended a scheduled meeting with the Hadley’s staff at his local office. Hadley is in a very tight race for re-election, and Arthur Schaper lives in his district. Schaper had called the staff three days before, and right away they scheduled an appointment for 4:30 on the 15th.
Several of our people came and strongly spelled out their convictions against SB 1146 to Hadley’s staffers. None of the staffers would give a clear answer whether Hadley would vote for or against the bill. It’s likely this was the first time they’d been approached directly. They definitely got the message.
2. At public meeting held by Republican Minority Leader Chad Mayes – in Yucaipa
The next day, July 16, California MassResistance attended a “Coffee with Chad” at the Yucaipa Community Center with Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes (R). Concerns about SB1146 were weighing on many residents’ minds at that event, which surfaced when we brought it up!
Mayes said that he did not know a lot about the bill, which disturbed people who had expected him to signal emphatic opposition to it. He indicated he was hoping for a good compromise in the final language. But California MassResistance told him strongly that the only answer is to kill the bill, not try to water it down, and other attendees clearly agreed!
A number of people came up and thanked California MassResistance for bringing it up. Later, one of the staffers told Arthur that Mayes would be voting “No” on SB 1146!
VIDEO - California MassResistance confronts the State GOP Minority Leader on Bill SB 1146. (4 min 8 sec) This is how to do it!
A big push – July 22. The following week, California MassResistance planned a more extensive lobbying effort. On Friday afternoon, July 22, we organized simultaneous meetings and protests at four more Assembly members’ offices in Southern California.
3. At office of Chris Holden (D) – in Claremont
A group met with staffers of Chris Holden, a member of the Appropriations Committee. He has normally voted more liberal on key issues. But constituents have also noted that he attends a local church, and faces a challenger for his seat. California MassResistance announced their concerns about SB 1146 and strongly urged a No vote.
4. At office of Assembly member Miguel Santiago (D) - in Los Angeles
A meeting at Santiago’s office had been scheduled, but the night before it was suddenly canceled. But a group went to his office anyway! (Santiago is on the Appropriations Committee). Not a good idea, says Arthur Schaper. Santiago faces a strong challenger who is taking no special interest money!
5. At office of Assembly member Tom Daly (D) - in Anaheim
Two members of the team spoke with Daly’s staff. (Daly is a member of the Appropriations Committee.) They also met with a reporter from the Orange County Register.
6. At office of Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell – in Long Beach
The greatest demonstration occurred at Assemblyman O’Donnell’s office, where at least fifty people arrived in front of the building, and five of us went in to speak with O’Donnell’s Communications Director.
For the next thirty minutes, parents and grandparents of Christian college alumni explained their opposition to SB 1146. We had another person in the lobby join our discussion. Pastor Jerry Reub of Cornerstone Church explained how churches and Christian schools were offering services to the community, while Senator Ricardo Lara (the bill’s sponsor) was only interested in limiting their freedom of speech and outreach.
[Note: Originally there was an additional protest planned outside the local office the Majority Leader, Ian Calderon (D-City of Industry) but that will be held at a later time.]
There was also an effort in San Diego to confront Lorena Gonzalez (D), the Appropriations Committee Chairman. We are waiting to get the results of that.
More Democrat Assembly members get the message
Two Democratic assemblymembers, Patti Lopez and Jimmy Gomez (both of Los Angeles), despite the state party’s radical left-wing leanings, have announced that they will vote against SB 1146, according to constituents that we spoke to.
Local City Councils also take lead on SB 1146
Locally elected officials in California – in some cases working with California MassResistance -- are also sounding the alarm about this terrible bill, and one of those cities is located in Senator Lara’s own district!
7. Cudahy, CA, City Council
On July 25th City Councilman Jack Guerrero submitted a discussion item to the Cudahy City Council agenda formally denouncing SB 1146. He gave a passionate defense of the First Amendment and religious liberty, but in a cowardly move neither of his remaining Councilmen would even second his motion.
However, pro-family activists in the city support Guerrero’s fight for the First Amendment and are not giving up.
8. La Miranda, CA, City Council
On July 26, Arthur Schaper visited La Mirada, the home of Biola University. The City Council has drafted a letter in opposition to SB 1146, which they have forwarded to Senator Ricardo Lara, the sponsor the bill.
The Councilman who has been most active on this issue, Andrew Sarega, sat down with Schaper and shared more specific concerns about the bill and why religious freedom must be protected at all costs.
The next few weeks will be important
We have been working hard to stop this in the Appropriations Committee on Wednesday. If that doesn’t happen, it goes to the floor of the Assembly, where anything can happen.
This is a very emotional issue for a lot of Christians, and it’s an election year. The final outcome could eventually affect the whole country. California MassResistance will be fighting for you. We’ll let you know what happens.