An image of a news bulletin about a supposed "ban on the sale of Bible" in the California State Assembly is being shared on the internet.
What does the claim read?: The claim is written in Telugu, which loosely translates to "The California government has #banned the Bible saying that there are many sexual topics in the Bible, it is not good for children to read the Bible, and because of reading the Bible, sexual harassments are also increasing among adults."
We received a query about this on our WhatsApp tipline.
We also found a similar claim on X (formerly Twitter) with 28.1K views and 226 reposts.
What is the truth?: The image is a capture of an old broadcast by the OAN dated 19 April, 2018.
There is no proof suggesting that the Bible was ever banned in California, nor is there an ongoing proposal for the same.
How did we find out?: We ran a Google search to check whether the sale of bible was banned in California and found no proof of the same.
We found the OAN broadcast coverage from 2018 and came across the controversy around the "AB-2943 Unlawful business practices: sexual orientation change efforts Bill," which was introduced by Democrat party member Evan Low.
We compared the frames between the claim and the OAN 2018 coverage.
The anchor and guest discussed the possibility of the ban on sale of the Bible should the bill be passed.
It sought to declare conversion therapy – a derogatory practice which attempts to change one's sexual orientation – as a fraudulent practice.
The Quint reached out to the Communications Director of Evan Low, Eddie Kirby who said, "The bill never proposed the banning of the sale of the Bible." They said it was a myth created by the opponents to distract the public from the important points in the bill.
The author of the bill, Evan Low, had also cleared the doubt with his tweet dated 23 April 2018.
However, he later withdrew the bill on 31 August 2018.
We found the statement on Evan Low's official Facebook page. Low wrote, "With a hopeful eye toward the future, I share with you that, despite the support the bill received in the Assembly and Senate, I will not be sending AB 2943 to the Governor this year."
Here is a copy of the statement.
Additionally, Los Angeles Times reported on 31 August 2018 that the bill had been shelved by Low in the hope of "finding consensus with religious communities that vigorously opposed the proposal."
Speaking to The Quint, Eddie Kirby, Communications Director of CA Assembly member Evan Low mentioned that no formal bill has been proposed in California that would do the same thing as "AB-2943."
Conclusion: There is no evidence to back the claim state of California in USA has initiated a ban on the sale of Bibles.
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