A newly revised California bill would treat parents’ refusal to “affirm” their child’s gender identity as a violation of health, safety, and welfare in the context of custody disputes.
The bill, which already passed the State Assembly, would require judges adjudicating such disputes over transgender-identifying children to favor a parent who “affirms” their child’s gender identity. Earlier this week, the authors released an updated version that specifically defines “the health, safety, and welfare” of a child to include “a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity”—a change that the bill’s opponents worry will open the door to non-affirmation being treated as abuse.
“When you say that gender affirmation is in the child’s best interest for health, safety, and welfare, it takes nothing to say [non-affirmation] is now abuse — because you’re not taking care of the health, safety, and welfare if you’re not affirming them,” said Erin Friday, a San Francisco attorney and co-lead of the parent coalition Our Duty.
The amended bill, known as A.B. 957, is the latest in a slate of legislation to enshrine left-wing gender ideology in California law. State senator Scott Wiener (D.), who coauthored A.B. 957 with Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (D.), is simultaneously advancing a separate bill that would require foster parents to promise to “affirm” trans-identifying children. In 2022, he introduced a first-in-the-nation law enshrining California as a “haven” where out-of-state minors can obtain sex changes without their parents’ consent.