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John Batchelor

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A victory for respectful persuasion

Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, watches the debate over a bill during the Assembly session Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. Low announced Friday that he is ending his effort this year to pass a bill declaring gay conversion therapy a fraudulent practice. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

An unexpectedly encouraging development in California should remind us that conversation can work better than confrontation in politics. The author of Assembly Bill 2943 agreed to pull it from the legislature’s agenda-dropping a new law that would have imposed severe penalties on mental health professionals who agreed to help patients wanting to overcome homosexual inclinations.

Evan Low, a gay, Silicon Valley Democrat, had majority support in the legislature but he changed his plan because he felt “heartened by conversations…. with pastors, professional counselors and former homosexuals who lead ministries to others.”

Jonathan Keller, President of the California Family Council said, “We are inexpressibly grateful to Assembly member Low for meeting personally with faith leaders over the last several months and sincerely listening to our concerns.”

This is a demonstration of the power of respectful persuasion and both sides deserve praise.

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