The California legislature approved a bill this week that would punish parents who do not “affirm” their child’s gender identity.
Assembly Bill 957, known as the Transgender, Gender-Diverse, and Intersex Youth Empowerment Act, passed the California Assembly by a party-line 57-16 vote Friday. The state senate passed the bill on Wednesday by a 30-9 vote. The bill would “include a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child.”
If Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signs the bill, it would require custody judges to consider a parent’s “affirmation” of their child’s gender, as judges consider the “health, safety, and welfare of the child” when making decisions.
As the Daily Signal reported:
Threatening the standard of “health, safety, and welfare” of a child under the California Family Code can carry penalties under the California Penal Code—prompting parents, activists, and lawmakers to speculate that AB 957 could result in parents being charged with child abuse or neglect for not participating in a child’s transgenderism.
In a hearing about the bill, California Sen. Scott Wilk (R) said the bill would force parents to leave the state.
“In recent years, we have put government bureaucrats between parents, children, and doctors when it comes to medical care—and now we have this where if a parent does not support the ideology of the government, [children] are going to be taken away from the home,” Wilk said, adding, “if you love your children, you need to flee California.”
The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson, said her “transgender son” inspired her to pursue this legislation.
“As the mother of a transgender son, these issues are critical to me. Research demonstrates that family acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth is a crucial protective factor in combating depression and substance abuse,” Wilson told the Washington Examiner. “Well-rounded social support from friends and family members is strongly associated with positive mental development, physical health, and overall well-being.”