SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Bible sales would not be banned in California under proposed state legislation, contrary to widely shared claims by multiple online sites.
The issue emerged over a bill that seeks to classify selling or advertising gay conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice in the state.
California’s lower chamber, the Assembly, passed the bill last week and sent it to the state Senate.
The measure addresses only the sale of conversion therapy services for monetary compensation, according to representatives for its Democratic sponsor, Assemblyman Evan Low.
The bill does not mention the Bible.
“As it applies to ‘practices’ only, it does not apply to the sale of books or any other kind of goods, and it does not prevent anyone from speaking or writing on the subject of conversion therapy in any forum,” attorney Anthony Sampson, who advised Low’s office on the bill, told The Associated Press in an email.
Among those making the Bible ban claim is Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen, who is running for governor. In a recent interview, One America News Network asked Allen if the sale of Bibles would be prohibited if the bill passed because the Bible addresses sexual morality.
“Literally, according to how this law is written, yes, it would,” Allen replied. “This is, you know, PC culture, politically correct culture, gone horribly awry. This is really directly hitting at our First Amendment rights as American citizens.”
Maryann Marino, a spokeswoman for Allen’s campaign, had no immediate comment.