Outraged developed more or less instantly when a California lawmaker proposed a ban on allowing Christians to be police officers.
And now he’s backing down.
The plan from Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, was AB 655 and would have banned those who are affiliated with “hate groups” from being officers.
The problem was that the definition of “hate group” was wildly open and could have included most of California’s residents.
According to a report from Pacific Justice Institute Center for Public Policy, the bill, as introduced, “would have excluded from law enforcement and subjected to termination anyone associated with a ‘hate group,'” which was defined as “any organizations that had advocated against constitutional rights based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
PJI then explained banned would be any “members of any churches and groups that supported Proposition 8” because that rejected same-sex marriage.
Also, the Republican Party continues to officially support traditional marriage and AB 655 would ban them.
“Past membership alone would have triggered investigation and termination,” the report said.
PJI reported Kalra was defiant right away, declaring “that people with bigoted views had no right to serve in law enforcement.”
“But when liberal outlets such as The Sacramento Bee validated the concerns expressed by PJI-CPP, and liberal professors expressed discomfort with it, Asm. Kalra announced late this week that he would amend AB 655 to focus on violent groups and not equate them with groups who merely disagree with the author’s views of constitutional interpretation,” the organization reported.
Its chief, Brad Dacus, said, “This remarkable turn of events shows that when we speak up and join together to oppose unconstitutional overreaches, we can still effect change even in dark-blue places like the capitol of California. It is alarming that some of our legislators attempted to exclude conservatives and people of faith from the ranks of law enforcement. Had we and like-minded groups not spoken out against this outrage, it very likely would have become law. Much work remains to be done on this issue, because the Bill attempts to divide people into groups of those belonging to a protected class and those that don’t. All citizens should be free from threat of violence, not the chosen few.”
Pacific Justice Institute Senior Staff Attorney Matthew McReynolds earlier had warned the bill would usher in a “new era of McCarthyism” that would target Muslims, Catholics, evangelicals and even registered Republicans.