The California State Assembly approved legislation requiring judges to consider parental affirmation of a child’s so-called “gender identity” and “gender expression” in custody decisions.
Parents not agreeing with their child’s “gender identity” would be seen as harming the “health, safety and welfare of the child” and lose custody or visitation rights. But the measure may have implications for all parents in the state.
The family law bill, AB 957, passed the Senate by a wide margin of 30-9 on September 6 and the House by another lopsided majority of 61-16 on September 8. Called by proponents the “Transgender, Gender-Diverse, and Intersex Youth Empowerment Act,” the measure now goes to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, where he is expected to sign it.
Commenting on the legislation, Charlie Kirk posted on the X platform (formerly known as Twitter):
That’s right, if you are a parent in California that has traditional values or simply believes boys are boys and girls are girls, you might lose custody of your kids.
“It is unconscionable that state legislators are trying to take children from parents who believe the sex of their children is a matter of biology and not feelings, or because they want to protect their children from sterilizing drugs and mutilating surgeries,” said Greg Burt, capitol director for the California Family Council, whose organization fights for parental rights and protecting children.
The legislation says that courts must include parent’s approval of gender identity and expression “in making a determination of the best interests of the child.” It changes the definition of “the health, safety and welfare of the child” to include a parent’s affirmation of their child’s sexual identity confusion, stating:
The health, safety, and welfare of the child includes, among other comprehensive factors, a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression. Affirmation includes a range of actions and will be unique for each child, but in every case must promote the child’s overall health and well-being (our emphasis).
Parents who don’t affirm their child’s sexual identity confusion would be considered in the same category as those doing real harm to their children, such as parents who neglect or abuse their children.
The bill originally required “a judge to consider whether a child experiencing gender dysphoria was ‘affirmed’ by parents,” The Daily Signal reported, but it’s final version makes “‘gender affirmation,’ an essential need of a child in California.”
The news outlet explained that the legislation could have broader consequences under the state’s laws, applying to any parent who does not affirm a child’s gender identity:
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.
Political commentator and radio talk show host Kevin McCullough wrote a scathing commentary about this egregious legislation, giving California parents an ominous warning:
It turns children against a parent. It allows one parent to manipulate and use that child to hurt the opposite parent. And it sets in motion years of resentment, lack of communication, and a complete destruction of relationship. All this between a child and the parent who loves them—truly—the most.
And let me be unequivocal on this point. With all of the science as we have it gathered at this time, let it be clearly said, that if you are a parent who pursues or helps your child pursue the outcomes of gender reassignment you yourself are an abuser of children. It should be you who has your custody rights removed.
Sadly the rabidly evil and perverse leftists in California believe the opposite. They oppose science. And now they are literally coming for your children.
Burt concurs, saying parents should sue the state if the bill is signed into law. He added,
Every parent has a God-given responsibility and a constitutionally protected right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their own children. No one should lose custody of their children because their opinions or religious beliefs are unpopular with state politicians.
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For families and individuals struggling with transgender issues, Focus on the Family offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.
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