A California bill (AB 175) to force foster care parents to use transgendered pronouns got another nod from California legislators yesterday, when the bill was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee 8-3. (see votes) California Family Council spokesman Greg Burt warned legislators the bill would discourage Christians from fostering and violate their free speech rights, but the pleas were ignored.
Below is the video and transcript of Burt’s testimony. Click here to watch the full 30 minute hearing starting at the 33:20 minute mark.
Thank you chair and members. My name is Greg Burt, and I work for the California Family Council. Although there are several reasons our organization opposes AB 175, I’m going to focus the provision that gives foster kids the right to demand others use their “pronoun of preference.”
First is the issue of morality. It is wrong to teach foster kids they have a right to force another person to say words that person doesn’t believe. In any other context this would be unthinkable.
When a child or even an adult tries to make another person say something that contradicts that person’s belief system, it’s rude and obnoxious. But when a government gets involved and tries to mandate the words that come out of person’s mouth, it’s tyrannical.
The First Amendment not only protects our freedom to speak words the government doesn’t like, but also prohibits the government from compelling us to say words or promote ideas we don’t believe. This committee learned that the hard way last year when the US Supreme Court invalided one of the laws this committee approved several years ago. Here is what Justice Anthony Kennedy said when he, and four other justices, struck down the Reproductive Fact Act as unconstitutional.
“Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”
No one wants to be forced to say what they do not believe.
When you force transgender pronouns on someone who believes gender is binary and determined by biology, you are compelling speech.
It is common knowledge that California does not have enough foster families for the children needing them. During the last hearing, Assemblyman Gibson argued his bill has “great potential of … increasing parents taking in foster children.” Really??
Common sense would say the opposite is true.
Rules like this make foster parents think twice about taking on the responsibility of fostering. In your heart, you all know this to be true. This is not fear mongering. People of faith want to love and care for foster children. This bill send a message that their help is not wanted.
Please vote no on AB 175. Thank you.