- California’s AB 957, recently amended, would make non-affirmation of a child’s gender identity potentially abusive under California law.
- The bill, originally introduced to factor in “gender-affirming” behavior in custody cases, now redefines California’s standards for child care.
- The new standards could potentially see children removed from their parents’ home if parents disapprove of LGBTQ+ ideologies.
- The legislation could allow progressive activist organizations to report cases of “gender non-affirmation” to the courts.
- Critics argue the bill doesn’t define what would constitute “non-affirming” behavior, leaving it open to subjective interpretation.
A proposed bill in California could redefine the standard for child care in the state, with parents potentially facing allegations of abuse if they don’t affirm their child’s gender identity. The amended AB 957 passed California’s State Assembly on May 3 and is set to be further scrutinized by the State Senate on June 13.
The bill, introduced by Assembly Member Lori Wilson and co-sponsored by State Senator Scott Weiner, initially required courts to consider whether a child’s parents were “gender-affirming” in custody cases. However, a recent amendment extends this requirement to all aspects of child welfare, altering the entire California Family Code’s application and interpretation.
Should AB 957 become law, it could lead to children being removed from their parents’ custody if the parents don’t affirm LGBTQ+ ideologies. The broadened definition of what constitutes the “health, safety, and welfare of [a] child” could also impact schools, churches, hospitals, and other child-interacting organizations, as they would be required to affirm “gender transitions” in minors or risk allegations of child abuse.
The bill doesn’t provide clear definitions of “non-affirming” behavior, leading to concerns about potential subjective interpretation.
It also does not provide guidelines regarding the age of a child, how long a child has identified as transgender, or whether affirmation of social transition versus medical sex-change treatments is needed.
Critics of the bill argue that it infringes on parental rights and may lead to children being unnecessarily removed from their parents’ custody. They worry that the law could be misused and lead to widespread accusations of child abuse based on subjective interpretations of the parents’ behavior.
Jay Richards, Director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at The Heritage Foundation, called AB 957 a “grotesque violation” of children’s and parent’s rights. Nicole Pearson, founder of Facts Law Truth Justice law firm and civil rights advocacy group, similarly condemned the unconstitutionality of the bill.
The ongoing debate surrounding AB 957 showcases the tension between advancing LGBTQ+ rights and maintaining parental rights. It signals a potential paradigm shift in how child welfare and parental responsibilities are understood in law