California anti-hate bill may block Christians and pro-lifers from joining police force

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A California bill intended to ensure police candidates have no connection to hate groups may ultimately prevent conservative Christians and pro-life advocates from joining the force, Christian Headlines reports. Titled the “California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform Act,” bill AB 655 will be heard by the state’s Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 6.

Introduced in February by Democratic Assemblyman Ash Kalra, the bill requires background checks to be carried out on law enforcement candidates, to ensure they have not “engaged in membership in a hate group,” joined in hate group activities, or made hateful public statements, Christian Headlines reports.

The bill defines a “hate group” as an organization that “advocates for, or practices the denial of constitutional rights” of any group of persons “based upon race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,” Christian Headlines said.

Given that abortion and same-sex marriage are constitutionally protected by Supreme Court precedent, watchdog groups California Family Council and the Pacific Justice Institute say the language of the bill is so broad it could be interpreted to exclude from the police force candidates who are pro-life or who belong to Christian churches that teach engaging in homosexuality is a sin.

“Under the guise of addressing police gangs, the bill at the same time launches an inexplicable, unwarranted, and unprecedented attack on peaceable, conscientious officers who happen to hold conservative political and religious views,” Pacific Justice Institute attorney Matthew McReynolds said in a statement.

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