California is threatening to take kids from parents who don’t ‘affirm’ transgender confusion

As the transgender wars escalate, we are seeing two trends unfold simultaneously. On one side, a mounting body of evidence that reveals the irreversible damage caused by “sex change” surgeries and puberty blockers/cross-sex hormones is driving an ideologically diverse opposition to the transgender agenda, with American red states as well as liberal nations such as Denmark, Sweden, and Finland changing course.  

On the other side, progressives are doubling down, with countries such as Canada and New Zealand and states such as California and Minnesota pushing new laws enshrining transgender premises into law with increasingly extremist measures. In those places, dissent from LGBT orthodoxy—that “sex changes,” even for kids, are necessary to prevent suicides; that de-transitioners are either grifters or aberrations; that all evidence indicating the damage being done by this medical scandal should be ignored—meets hostility and even professional sanctions. 

California has been roiled by this culture war for several years. Dominated by the progressive cities, the state is still home to a substantial conservative minority, and this has resulted in massive protests at school board meetings as angry parents have demanded accountability and insisted that LGBT indoctrination stop. Some of these protests have devolved into brawls—frustration is mounting as California’s legislators and Governor Gavin Newsom plow forward with bill after bill buttressing the LGBT hegemony in the Golden State. 

The latest bill is AB-957, which passed in both state houses on September 8 and calls for California’s judicial courts to consider parents’ “affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child” when making decisions about custody and visitation rights. The bill states that “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.” The bill’s sponsor, Lori Wilson, claims that this language is vague enough to allow for “judicial discretion.” 

That is transparent nonsense. The very language of the bill is rooted in transgender premises—“gender affirmation” assumes that the child was born into the wrong body and that “sex change” surgeries or puberty blockers are thus “affirming” the child’s genuine gender, which is distinct from his or her sex and thus must be corrected. That is why the LGBT movement moved away from the language of “gender transition” and instead demands that the term “gender affirmation” be used—because the very terminology is rooted in the assumption that their view is correct. 

Wilson has been clear about her bill’s intent, noting that it is “our duty as parents is to affirm our children” and that a child’s choice of gender, “whatever it is,” must be respected by parents. Parents can disagree with transgender ideology—that is their First Amendment right, Wilson stated—but their disagreement “can also be considered in a custody dispute.” In response to critics, she has said that her bill focuses on “what is best for the child and there is a breadth of research that supports that affirmation of gender identity is the child’s best interest.” There are a lot of countries—from the U.K. to Norway—who would strongly beg to differ with that assertion. 


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