ORLANDO — A group of millennials who started a movement throughout the country about how Jesus delivered them from a lifestyle of homosexuality are now using their voices to fight California Bill AB 2943, which will outlaw churches from helping anyone out of the LGBT lifestyle.
The text of AB 2943 declares that "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual" would be illegal under the state's consumer fraud law. Sexual orientation change efforts is defined as "any practices that seek to change an individual's sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."
Luis Javier Ruiz, a survivor of the deadly 2016 Orlando Pulse Gay Nightclub shooting, has since walked away from a life of homosexuality and credits godly counsel and the Bible. He was invited to the California State Capitol on Tuesday by California Family Council to speak out against the bill. He said he's now "lovesick" for Jesus and will not allow the bill to silence his truth and limit others from receiving the support they need.
"If they do pass that [bill] in California it will take away the rights of counselors, pastors, people that want to give you guidance on coming out of homosexuality, or any kind of help, prayer, which will include the BIble, because the Bible has six verses that speaks out about it, so that would take away the Bible and hurt the church," Ruiz told The Christian Post ahead of the vote.
"I came to Christ through the word of God, I came to Christ over Godly counsel — pastors, people that prayed me through," Ruiz continued. "Me coming over there as a Pulse survivor, sharing my story is going to show a lot of people that if this does get passed in California it can probably hit all over the U.S."
"As we know it, the church is going to be in a lot of persecution," he warned.
Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Matt Sharp explained to California Family Council the implications of the bill.
"California AB 2943 makes it unlawful for any person to sell books, counseling services, or anything else that helps someone overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion," he stated. "As a result, it could be a violation if a pastor encourages a congregant to visit the church book store to purchase books that help people address sexual issues, perhaps including the Bible itself, which teaches about the importance of sexual purity within the confines of marriage between a man and woman."
After the vote on Tuesday, Ruiz, who was in attendance at the state Senate vote, told CP that it looked like the bill was going to pass.
"God has a way of moving and I believe this opens the door of a wave of God's glory," Ruiz shared. "This will provoke the church to rise and get out of the church and walk in relationship, not religion. They voted yes to the bill but we still serve a big God and we are not defeated."
Ruiz, a pastor's son who had admittedly backslid into a life of self-indulgence, said his life really changed after watching the documentary "Here's My Heart: A Documentary of Surrendering to Freedom" by Uprooted INC. featuring the testimonies of 12 people who came of out the LGBT lifestyle after surrendering their lives to Jesus Christ.
Founder of Uprooted Heart Inc. and producer of the documentary Mary Jenna Nixon has since linked arms with Ruiz and other overcomers to march for freedom all over America.
"The stronger, unified we are, the greater our voice," Nixon told CP. "I found the LGBTQ community, the greatest strength they have is if they have an event so many people come out. So we've actually now put together a Freedom March."
The first annual march was held in Washington, D.C., on May 5 and the group of millennials intend to take the march nationally, targeting California and Orlando next. Each march is meant to share their transformation in Christ, equip the body of Christ in dealing with the LGBT community and offer a safe place for those in homosexuality to come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
"We want to go all around the United States into the cities," she said. "Where the Pride Marches are all about sexual perversion, we want to have a march that's about purity, about righteousness, and about the truth of what Jesus did in all of our lives."
Nixon, who was in a long-term relationship with another female herself before Jesus transformed her life, wants the world to know that there is a group of young passionate people who are sharing a counter cultural message of freedom from the LGBT lifestyle.
"This generation's saying, 'Hey we have a different narrative, this is what Jesus has done for us,'" she concluded. "We just want to share the way they get to go on the streets and do whatever they want in pride, now we're doing it in humility."
For more information on the Freedom March, the "Here's My Heart" documentary or what this group of millennials will be doing moving forward, visit uprootedheart.com.