By Denise Shick – BarbWire guest contributor
Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said, “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.” That principle applies to any individual or group that seeks to censor those who hold an opposing view. If you feel you need to silence those who oppose your view, it’s probably because you fear that in the free market of ideas, your view is likely to lose.
In California, several lawmakers have introduced AB 2943, which “would prevent a counselor from helping an adult client explore all options to address questions over sexual orientation, an author from selling a book challenging gender identity ideology, and even a church from hosting a ticketed conference addressing issues of sexuality and identity.”1 In other words, if passed, AB 2943 would effectively censor the view (supported by studies and anecdotal stories) that homosexuality and transgenderism are not genetically predisposed and immutable.
Those of us who hold to the view that gender confusion is reversible are not seeking to silence those who say the condition is irreversible. We want only to have equal access, equal opportunity to state our views openly. Then in the cultural free market, let the consumer choose.
But far more is at stake here than merely the abstract issue of laissez-faire versus interventionist policies. These choices affect real people in real ways. I speak from experience. During my formative years, few people had ever heard terms such as gay (other than as a synonym for happy) and transgender. So, for most of his life, my father was able to keep his crossdressing—and later, hormone treatments—a secret. As a result, my dad never heard about any alternatives to simply following his desires. Despite the toll his behaviors had on me, I grieve when I remember him dying alone, sad, and broken. But I also can’t forget that my mother, my siblings, and I paid a price for his choices. I struggled for years to get past the horrible memories of him molesting me.
My dad never heard of alternatives to indulging his desires because, basically, back then no alternatives existed. Back then, the few people who were aware that such behaviors existed apparently thought it best to ignore the even smaller number of practitioners of such behaviors.
But these days, with homosexuality and transgenderism having become so prominent, looking the other way is not practical. The question, then, is: Do we help such people to continue in their chosen lifestyle or do we help them find ways to escape such desires? The writers and sponsors of California’s AB 2943 favor the former view. And they seem to think that if those with gender-confusion issues hear the other view they will become even further confused. Hence this push for state-enforced censorship.
Freedom of speech is a bedrock principle of our nation. The cost of allowing this frightening bill to pass would extend beyond the issue of gender confusion; it could set a dangerous precedent in allowing censorship a foothold in our free society.
Hugo Black, another Supreme Court Justice, said, “The Framers of the Constitution knew that free speech is the friend of change and revolution. But they also knew that it is always the deadliest enemy of tyranny.”
Please, freedom-loving Americans, speak up. Don’t let tyranny win.
Denise Shick is the author of My Daddy’s Secret and Understanding Gender Confusion: A Faith Based Perspective.
Related: CA Bill to Censor Counseling
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.