Kevin Mannoia

Former National Association of Evangelicals Head Mannoia Urges California Lawmakers: Direct Pastors to Affirm LGBTQ

on July 2, 2019

A former top official with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) has testified in favor of legislation that blames stigma from religious groups for a high rate of suicide among persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ).

Dr. Kevin Mannoia testified before a California State Assembly judiciary committee on Concurrent Resolution 99 (ACR 99) which seeks to curtail “Practices or therapies that attempt to create a change in a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity”.

“On behalf of some Christian pastors and church leaders, I write to express various levels of support for the Resolution ACR 99 dealing with Conversion Therapy and LGBTQ persons,” Mannoia wrote in a letter of support.

Social conservative organizations, including the California Family Council and Liberty Counsel oppose the legislation as a violation of religious freedom for pastors and counselors.

Mannoia, who currently serves as Azusa Pacific University chaplain, was vague in his letter to Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), writing of “deep desire to collaborate with others in the common good and on behalf of the dignity of every person.”

“Frankly, one of the underlying interests that I have is to change the tone of the conversation,” Mannoia testified. “I come from a tradition that is a conservative tradition in the church, and I appreciate [Assemblyman Low’s] willingness to remain in dialogue.”

The language of the legislation is more direct, asserting that “The stigma associated with being LGBTQ often created by groups in society, including therapists and religious groups, has caused disproportionately high rates of suicide, attempted suicide, depression, rejection, and isolation amongst LGBTQ and questioning individuals.”

The resolution calls upon religious leaders “to counsel on LGBTQ matters from a place of love, compassion, and knowledge of the psychological and other harms of conversion therapy.”

“We call on the people of California–especially its counselors, pastors, religious workers, educators, and legislators–and the institutions of California with great moral influence–especially its churches, universities, colleges, and other schools, counseling centers, activist groups, and religious centers–to model equitable treatment of all people of the state,” the resolution reads.

The California Family Council noted that after the hearing, “Low wasted no time touting Mannoia’s testimony as a gesture of full support for ACR 99 on social media.”

Alongside a shot of Low and Mannoia together on a state Capitol balcony, the Assemblyman tweeted, “@Kmannoia, Former President of the National Association of Evangelicals & Chaplain at @azusapacific, speaks in support of #ACR99, to reaffirm our values of love and dignity while also acknowledging the harmful practice of #ConversionTherapy.”

In 2018 Low introduced AB 2943, a bill that would have censored counselors providing therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, or gender confusion. According to Liberty Counsel, the bill “also tried to ban sales of printed materials and books expressing the viewpoint that unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion can be reduced or eliminated.” Low withdrew the bill on the last day of the legislative session.

It is unclear what, if any, concessions Mannoia may have gained from Low by offering testimony that favored the new resolution’s passage and optics that signaled evangelical endorsement. Mannoia was NAE President from 1999 to 2001, and also served as a bishop in the Free Methodist Church.

The bill passed committee 6-2 with one member not voting and was subsequently passed by the Assembly on June 24. It awaits legislative action by the California State Senate.

The entirety of Mannoia’s testimony can be viewed on Facebook video by clicking here.

  1. Comment by William on July 2, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    So, a person in California seeking this therapy would be banned from receiving it in that state. That person would have to go to another state for such therapy? How would big brother know if one seeking this therapy was receiving it or not since confidentiality protects both the therapist and patient? Or, does this also do away with confidentiality?

  2. Comment by Deighton Burchett on July 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    California Association of Evangelicals stands against ACR 99. Our biblical position has not changed.
    A. Dwight Burchett,
    President, C. A. E.

  3. Comment by Paul Mouritsen on July 2, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Just to be clear, a concurrent resolution does not have the force of law. It expresses principles, purposes or opinions of the Legislature.

  4. Comment by senecagriggs on July 3, 2019 at 10:46 am

    A Therapist is held to confidentiality; the client is not.

  5. Comment by Kim cooney on July 3, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Please, there has to be therapy given to those lgbtq people if they find they no longer want to be in this situation.

  6. Comment by Eric J LeFevre on July 3, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Does the NAE even matter anymore? The only really good thing I can say about the NAE is that it is more relevant than the National Council of Churches, but that is not putting the bar very high….

  7. Comment by David on July 3, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    I stand on the Biblical principle from 2 Timothy:“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
    ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  8. Comment by Dan Waller on July 3, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Attendance/membership in traditional religious organizations has dropped dramatically over the last few decades. The influence of organized religion in the U.S. has dropped as well. Has the suicide rate of LGBTQ individuals dropped or has it stayed the same, or even increased? My comment is not intended make light of the pain of LGBTQ individuals or their loved ones. I believe the Gospel doesn’t shame the marginalized – it offers hope and leads to life. John 8: 1-11

  9. Comment by Jim Wright on July 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    The people who struggle with their sexuality are to humbly come to Jesus and seek Him and walk away from their sin regardless of the type of sin. Yes, we as believers must show everyone much grace and love as His Word says. Jesus said you will know my disciples by their love. John 13:34,35

  10. Comment by Bruce Atkinson on July 4, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    In those places in the world (like Scandinavia) where LGBTQ ways and SSM are totally accepted, the rates of suicide, homicide, and major health problems remain very high… much higher than other groupings. There is zero evidence that cultural acceptance will be helpful for these people. The fact is, they have a psychosexual developmental disorder which requires treatment. But the LGBTQ political machine will never admit this truth.

  11. Comment by Lee D. Cary on July 10, 2019 at 9:15 am

    Is Dr. Kevin Mannoia a candidate for Reich Bishop of California?

    And there’s this at
    NEW YORK — United Methodist Women has awarded two $50,000 grants for work to thwart suicide among LGBTQ youth to The Trevor Project and the Tyler Clementi Foundation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, resulting in approximately 4,600 lives lost each year. LGBTQ youth are three to six times more likely to attempt suicide than other youth.”

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