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CA Senate Passes Bill That Would Remove Custody from Non-Affirming Parents

Last week, the California Senate Judiciary passed AB 957, which would consider it abusive for a parent to not affirm a child’s gender “identity” and would deny custody to non-affirming parents during custody disputes. An updated version of the bill specifically defines a child’s “health, safety, and welfare” to include “a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity.”

Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), one of the two senators who voted against the bill, warned parents of its serious danger during the bill’s hearing. “In the past when we’ve had these discussions and I’ve seen parental rights atrophied—I’ve encouraged people to keep fighting,” he said. “I’ve changed my mind on that. If you love your children, you need to flee California. You need to flee.”

Unfortunately, the danger of such legislation is a lesson that some California parents have had to learn the hard way. 

Abigail Martinez testified in opposition to AB 957, telling the story of her daughter Yaeli who passed away three years ago. “My daughter was murdered by a gender ideology,” she said. “My daughter was taken from her loving home because the state of California claimed I was abusive for not affirming her trans identity. I lost my daughter over a name and a pronoun.”

After hearing her testimony, instead of preventing other families from experiencing this, the Judiciary Committee passed the bill with an 8-2 vote. 

Erin Friday, an attorney and mother of a girl who used to suffer from gender dysphoria, also spoke out against the bill at the hearing. 

“There is no nuance in this bill. It matters not the age of the child, the absurdity of the identity adopted, co-morbid mental health issues, or persistence,” said Friday. “Family court judges will be compelled to favor the child who will affirm the child’s delusion. Parents can easily game the system and use gender as retaliation against each other. What happens when one parent will socially affirm the child but will not agree to medicalize? Does the parent willing to do more transitioning prevail?”

Both Friday and Martinez also spoke at a press conference on the bill, along with Adam Vena, a dad who lost all custody of his 5-year-old son because he opposed his gender “transition” while the son’s mother was in support. 

Over 100 more parents showed up to the hearing to voice their opposition to the bill, far outnumbering those in support. However, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) seemed to ignore the concerns, claiming that to oppose the bill would be to “erase trans kids.” 

AB 957 is scheduled to go before the State Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, for a vote. If approved, the bill will go back to the State Assembly for a final vote before it heads to the desk of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom.

This bill would endanger all children in California who have been victimized by gender ideology and infringe upon the God-given rights of all parents. The best way to oppose this bill is to continue sharing the heartbreaking stories of parents who have lost their children to gender ideology, and to call and meet your elected officials, and to get your community leaders and pastors to speak out publicly against this bill. 


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