(The Daily Signal) — The California State Assembly passed a bill Friday that would require judges in child custody cases to consider whether a parent has affirmed a child’s “gender transition” by making “gender affirmation” an equal part of a child’s “health, safety, and welfare” under state law.
Democratic lawmakers’ bill, AB 957, passed the Assembly by a vote of 57-16 along party lines.
The California Senate passed the bill Wednesday, 30-9, also along party lines.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law. Under it, parents who refuse to participate in transgenderism by pretending that their child is a different gender could be guilty of failing to provide for the “health, safety, and welfare” of their child — therefore losing custody to another parent or the state.
Assemblymember Lori Wilson, D-Suisun City, whose child identifies as transgender, wrote the bill and introduced it Feb. 14. State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, co-sponsored the measure.
The Daily Signal previously reported that Wiener amended the bill June 6, altering AB 957 from requiring a judge to consider whether a child experiencing gender dysphoria was “affirmed” by parents to making “gender affirmation” an essential need of a child in California.
“Gender affirmation” isn’t defined or explained in AB 957 or any other California law, drawing concerns over interpretation.
Susannah Luthi, who covers California for The Washington Free Beacon, pointed out: “The bill makes no distinctions regarding the age of a child, how long a child has identified as transgender, or affirmation of social transition versus medical sex-change treatments.”
Greg Price, communications director for the State Freedom Caucus Network, reported that bill author Wilson had said: “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.”
Entrepreneur and California resident Elon Musk, who owns X, the social media app formerly called Twitter, and is parent to a child who claims to be transgender, responded by saying: “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!”
Threatening the standard of “health, safety, and welfare” of a child under the California Family Code can carry penalties under the California Penal Code — prompting parents, activists, and lawmakers to speculate that AB 957 could result in parents being charged with child abuse or neglect for not participating in a child’s transgenderism.
In a California Senate Judiciary Committee hearing June 13, state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, warned parents to leave California if such legislation were to pass.
“In recent years, we have put government bureaucrats between parents, children, and doctors when it comes to medical care — and now we have this where if a parent does not support the ideology of the government, [children] are going to be taken away from the home,” Wilk said, adding: “If you love your children, you need to flee California.”
The bill now heads to Newsom’s desk.