Last week, the Assembly Judiciary Committee heard AB 957, a bill that would pressure judges to remove children from the custody of parents who won’t affirm their child’s self-determined “trans-identity.”
“This is a bill that would require a court to consider a parent’s affirmation of a child’s gender identity when determining the best interest of a child. This bill would also require a court to strongly consider that affirming the gender identity of a minor is in the best interest of a child,” began the bill’s author Assemblywoman Lori Wilson during the hearing.
Wilson went on to claim that gender dysphoric children show a higher rate of suicidality, and that having a gender affirming parent would help alleviate these children’s mental health issues.
California father Ted Hudacko spoke in opposition of the bill, explaining that he is a father of two boys, but only has custody over one, as he refused to support the social and medical transitioning of the other son.
Hudacko claimed that like any reasonable parent, he simply didn’t want his son to undergo irreversible and unnecessary procedures that could cause permanent infertility. However, the judge presiding over his trial completely ended Hudacko’s parental rights in response. He was given no say in his child’s transition, which was already planned at a local hospital. He even lost the right to see or talk to his child.
“My older son decided that he was a woman after my ex-wife’s sister was brutally stabbed by her husband. He no longer wanted to be a man. My son, likely, is just a sensitive gay kid. My ex-wife placed my then 16-year-old son on puberty blockers and estrogen against court orders. My son is now 18 and unlikely to father a child. Since the root cause of his trans identity was never explored, his comorbid mental health issues continue unabated. Soon, he will become a life-long medical patient needing hormone replacement…for the rest of his life.” (emphasis added)
“If existing data are correct,” Hudacko continued, “he will be more susceptible to becoming a drug addict and homeless. He will have an almost 20% higher chance of suicide.”
It is never in the best interest of children to affirm lies that they believe about themselves. Affirming a child’s gender “identity” only guarantees that they will continue to suffer in distress and confusion. What gender dysphoric children need in order to alleviate their distress is the truth about biological realities. Further, the vast majority of gender dysphoric children end up reidentifying with their biological sex anyway.
The medical community is treating gender dysphoria much differently than any other mind/body disorder. Usually, such disorders are treated by helping the patient reconcile with his or her body as it is. In the case of gender dysphoria, ideology has replaced data and science as the driving force of medical decisions. To pressure parents into adopting this ideology would be detrimental for children who are already being influenced by activist medical professionals and secular culture.
Children need the protection of their parents, and courts should err on the side of safety for children rather than forcing parents to make the impossible decision of losing custody or allowing their children to undergo dangerous, permanent medical changes.
If AB 957 is signed into law, Hudacko’s tragic story will only become more common. The bill already passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee 8 to 3. Democrat Assembly members Connolly, Haney, Kalra, Maienschein, Pacheco, Papan, Reyes, and Robert Rivas voted yes. Republican Assembly members Dixon, Essayli, and Sanchez voted no. AB 957 will now go to a vote of the full assembly.