Last week the state legislature approved a bill to require judges to equate “affirmation of child gender transition” directly with a child’s “health, safety, and welfare” when determining custody or visitation rights. Consequently, parents who do not affirm the chosen gender identity of their child (of any age) risk having their child taken from them. AB 957 now heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for a final decision by October 14th, a bill he is expected to sign. (See Votes)
The legislation has drawn national attention and even become a talking point for presidential candidate Tim Scott. According to Fox News, he called the bill “evil.” Tech entrepreneur and Tesla founder Elon Musk has also weighed in. In a discussion about AB 957 on X, formerly known as Twitter, Musk wrote, “This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What it actually means is that if you disagree with the other parent about sterilizing your child, you lose custody. Utter madness!”
This is California State Rep. Lori Wilson, who wrote AB 957: "Parents affirm their children. Typically it happens when their gender identity matches their biological gender. But when it doesn't, the affirmation starts to wane... Our duty as parents is to affirm our children." pic.twitter.com/KP2Z9sksmp— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 8, 2023
“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. “If Governor Gavin Newsom signs this bill, parents have every right to sue. 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.”
The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (D-Livermore), is the only legislator who has a child who identifies as transgender. During the Assembly Floor session debate last week, Wilson defended her bill arguing it is the duty of parents to “affirm the child’s gender identity and expression… whatever that is.”
While California legislators seemed determined to mandate that every gender-confused child be socially and medically transitioned, countries all over Europe are backing away from the “gender affirmation” model of care for minors with gender dysphoria. For instance, just recently the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board, (NHIB/UKOM) has deemed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones & surgery for children & young people experimental, determining that the current “gender-affirmative” guidelines are not evidence-based and must be revised.
Scientific literature is starting to question the studies on which “gender-affirming care” is based. For instance, the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy published an article in January of 2023 titled, The Myth of “Reliable Research” in Pediatric Gender Medicine: A critical evaluation of the Dutch Studies—and research that has followed. These are the types of articles you would be mandating judges ignore when determining what is really in the best interest of a child.