In the United States, legislators are entrusted with a great deal of power. They have the authority to make laws that affect the lives of their constituents, and they make decisions about how taxpayer funds are spent. However, this is not the only type of power that legislators possess; in many instances, they also have the ability to command the attention of the media and the public. Like any other type of power, this power can be used either for good or for evil.
In recent days, State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) has used his power as a state legislator to pressure Google to remove an application (also known as an “app”) from the Google Play Store. Sen. Hoylman, an openly homosexual legislator who sponsored the recently-passed Bathroom Bill and Counselor Coercion Bill, is displeased that a Christian organization that helps people to experience freedom from homosexuality has an application on the Google Play Store. Formed in 1989 and based in Texas, Living Hope Ministries “is a non-profit, non-denominational, 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to proclaim God’s truth as we journey with those who are seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Of course, nothing about the Living Hope Ministries app is against the law—but that hasn’t stopped Sen. Hoylman. The Senator claims that the availability of this application sends a harmful message to young people and families. The Senator has it exactly backwards. An elected official sends a harmful message when he uses his position to try to bully a company into muzzling a perspective with which he disagrees. This type of behavior reveals the truly coercive roots of the Senator’s ideology. For Sen. Hoylman, it is not enough to ban change therapy for minors; the ultimate goal is to silence any voices that proclaim that same-sex attraction can or should be changed. At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF), we believe it is only a matter of time before Sen. Hoylman and his fellow travelers try to punish or censor churches that dare to speak out on this issue.
In recent years, LGBT advocates have frequently connected their agenda to anti-bullying efforts. But when Sen. Hoylman tries to silence perspectives on homosexuality that he finds disagreeable, he is the one doing the bullying.