SACRAMENTO, California (LifeSiteNews) — A newly amended California bill requiring judges to consider parents’ affirmation of a child’s alleged “gender identity” in custody disputes could open up “non-affirming” parents to child abuse allegations, opponents warn.
A June 6 amendment to California’s AB 957, already passed in the State Assembly on May 3, would characterize a “parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child,” The Daily Signal reported Friday.
AB 957 would alter Section 3011 of the California Family Code to require judges to consider whether or not parents “affirm” a child’s “transgender” identity as one of the factors in the consideration of custody disagreements.
The Washington Free Beacon noted that the vaguely worded new amendment has sparked worries that “non-affirmation” will be regarded in the Golden State “as abuse.” A similar situation has already unfolded in Canada, where a British Columbia father was jailed and fined after refusing to “affirm” the alleged male identity of his daughter and publicly referring to her as “she.”
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom already signed a bill last year allowing state courts to assert custody jurisdiction over children from other states who have been transported to California to undergo gender interventions.
Opponents of the newly amended AB 957 took to social media this week to condemn the legislation.
“Some of us warned for years this was coming,” remarked Daily Wire editor emeritus and podcast host Ben Shapiro.
“This is crazy,” Twitter owner and billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk observed.
Texas Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott excoriated the amended bill on Saturday as “insane,” promising that “[t]his will never happen in Texas.”
“In Texas, we put parents first,” he said, highlighting a recent law he signed banning the pharmaceutical and surgical “transgender” mutilation and sterilization of children.
This is insane.
This will never happen in Texas.
In Texas, we put parents first.
Also, I signed a law protecting children from sexual mutilation. https://t.co/g4orQdsluB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 10, 2023
AB 957 was written by Assembly Member Lori Wilson, whose own child identifies as “transgender,” and Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, an open homosexual who famously worked to shield certain statutory rapists from being placed on the sex offender registry by granting “judges discretion over sex-offender registration in all cases involving voluntary intercourse between teenagers 14 to 17, who cannot legally consent, and adults who are less than 10 years older.”
Wiener has also advocated for mandating “drag queen story hour” performances for school children and is currently working on a separate bill to screen out “non-affirming” foster families from taking in children who identify as “transgender,” The Free Beacon noted.
In comments before the state assembly earlier this year, Wilson argued that telling one’s gender-confused son or daughter that sex is not malleable amounts to “rejecting your child.”
Arguing that even a seven-year-old should be “affirmed’ in their gender confusion, the assembly member claimed that parents “should be affirming our children in every possible way.”
Nicole Peterson, founder of law firm and civil rights advocacy group Facts Law Truth Justice, told The Daily Signal that AB 957 “is a horrifying bill for children, and for parents and guardians not just in California but across the country.”
“If a parent or guardian is unwilling or simply not ready to affirm their 7-year-old’s new identity — as they transition from SpongeBob to Batman to Dora the Explorer — they can be found guilty of child abuse under AB-957 if it passes into law,” Peterson said.
A spokesman for Wilson pushed back on concerns that the newly revised legislation could put “non-affirming” parents in danger of “child abuse” charges, noting that the measure deals with family law, not criminal law.
“It’s not saying [“gender affirmation”] is the most important factor or determining factor,” the spokesman added. “It’s one of many factors that the judge should consider while working out a custody agreement.”
However, San Francisco Attorney Erin Friday, who also co-leads a parent coalition called Our Duty, argued that the legislation provides a bridge to declaring that parents who refuse to “affirm” an alleged transgender identity are abusers.
“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,” Friday said, according to The Free Beacon.
“We know exactly where they are going with it,” Friday said. “I didn’t think the bill could get worse, but it got worse.”
Even before the advancement and amendment of AB 957, parents who object to the “transitioning” of their children have been faced with a hostile court system that sides with the spouse who adheres to transgender ideology.
In 2019, 56-year-old Apple software engineer Ted Hudacko of Richmond, California, fought and lost a bitter legal battle after his wife announced that she wanted a divorce and that their then-17-year-old son wanted to become a girl.
LifeSiteNews previously reported that when the matter went to court, the judge (whose own child had “transitioned” to look more like the opposite gender the previous year) sided with the mother, denying Hudacko custody rights over his son.
Though Hudacko has only been permitted to see his son during supervised visits, he has been forced to pay his medical bills as he undergoes “transitioning” procedures to look more like a girl.
It remains to be seen whether AB 957 will progress in the legislature as currently written.
The measure has been re-referred to the state senate judiciary committee, which is slated to take it up again on June 13.