California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed AB 957, the “Transgender, Gender-Diverse, and Intersex Youth Empowerment Act,” which required judges to consider parental affirmation of a child’s so-called “gender identity” and “gender expression” in custody decisions. The veto was a surprise to both conservative and LGBT activist groups, and the legislature could still vote to override the veto.
But one vetoed bill does not mean the heavily tarnished Golden State is becoming more friendly to parents, children or people of faith.
After that one veto, the governor kept busy with his pen, signing other LGBT-activist laws that promote transgenderism and homosexuality, threatening the health and safety of young children, parents’ rights in education, and religious freedom for teachers and foster care families.
One bill allows minors to legally change their “gender” – without telling parents. Another trains teachers to identify parents who don’t accept LGBT ideology and therefore may not be “safe.” Another requires foster care families to embrace LGBT activism – including approving of harmful medical interventions for sexually-confused children.
Here’s a deeper look at the vetoed bill and some of the LGBT-activist legislation recently signed into law in California.
The vetoed legislation would have changed the definition of “the health, safety and welfare of the child” in state law to include parents’ affirmation of their child’s chosen gender identity or expression. This is necessary because, as one legislator opined, “Our duty as parents is to affirm our children.”
In a letter, the governor explained his reason for the veto, saying, “I urge caution when the Executive and Legislative branches of state government attempt to dictate – in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic – legal standards for the Judicial branch to apply.”
California Family Council (CFC) Vice President Greg Burt praised the veto, saying, “We are extremely pleased the governor rejected legislation to strip custody of children from parents who believe biology, not feelings, determines the sex of their child.”
But Burt slammed the other measures signed by the governor saying they are pushing the state – and the entire country – into an “LGBTQ+ direction, using regulations, forced indoctrination, and religious discrimination.”
CFC is a Focus on the Family-allied organization with a mission of “advancing God’s design for life, family and liberty through California’s church, capitol and culture.” The advocacy group lists eight LGBT-activist bills signed into law; here are a few of the measures that most affect families and people of faith:
- AB 5 – Requires the State Department of Education (DOE) to develop online “LGBTQ cultural training” for teachers and school staff who work with 7th-12th grades – regardless of what these staff members believe about sexuality, relationships and marriage. School employees must receive this training every two years.
The new law is especially alarming, specifying that “the training shall include information on … identifying LGBTQ+ youth who are subject to, or may be at risk of, bullying and lack of acceptance at home or in their communities.” So teachers will be on the lookout for parents who don’t affirm their child’s sexual identity confusion, and they can hide this information from them – which is part of California’s current DOE gender identity guidelines.
- AB 223 – According to CFC, “This bill enables any petition for a change of gender and sex identifier to hide this information under seal if filed by a person under 18 years of age.” Presumably, minors could legally change their “gender” and hide this information from their families.
- SB 407 – “This bill requires all Foster Care Families to be affirming of all LGBTQ+ gender and sexual orientations, and medical transitioning treatments whether they have LGBTQ-identified foster kids or not. There are no exemptions for religious belief systems that teach gender is binary and based on biology, or that hold to biblical views of sexuality,” CFC explains.
- SB 760 – All public schools serving students in first through twelfth grade, and having “more than one female restroom and more than one male restroom for pupils,” must “provide and maintain at least one all-gender bathroom.” So all schools must have facilities that cater to gender dogma.
Finally, the governor signed a bill which threatens the autonomy of local schools and districts.
AB 1078 “will make it harder for local school boards to remove LGBTQ and Critical Race Theory promoting curriculum from school libraries and classrooms,” says CFC.
California already mandates that schools include the “contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans … to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America” in K-12 social studies classes. About half a dozen states have similar laws. This new law makes it even more difficult for districts to pull inappropriate, sexualized and confusing materials related to sexual identity from classrooms and libraries.
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