A recently amended California bill would add “affirming” the sexual transition of a child to the state’s standard for parental responsibility and child welfare—making any parent who doesn’t affirm transgenderism for their child guilty of abuse under California state law.
AB 957 passed California’s State Assembly on May 3, but a co-sponsor amended it after hours in California’s State Senate on June 6.
Assembly Member Lori Wilson, D-Suisun City, wrote the bill and introduced it on Feb. 14. State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, co-sponsored it. Wilson’s child identifies as transgender.
Originally, AB 957 required courts to consider whether a child’s parents were “gender-affirming” in custody cases. Wiener’s amendment completely rewrites California’s standard of child care.
AB 957 post-amendment “would include a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child,” altering the definition and application of the entire California Family Code.
California courts would be given complete authority under Section 3011 of California’s Family Code to remove a child from his or her parents’ home if parents disapprove of LGBTQ+ ideology.
By changing the definition of what constitutes the “health, safety, and welfare of [a] child,” schools, churches, hospitals, and other organizations interacting with children would be required to affirm “gender transitions” in minors by default—or risk charges of child abuse.
AB 957 could also expand which organizations provide “evidence” of gender “nonaffirmation” to California’s courts.
Because of the addition of “gender affirmation” to the qualifications of California’s standards for “health, safety, and welfare,” California’s courts would now be able to accept reports of gender “abuse” from progressive activist organizations—as long as they claim to provide “services to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence.”
In essence, a boy could report his parents to his local school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club or other LGBTQ+ organization, who could then report the boy’s parents for child abuse.
Incredibly, the bill provides no definition whatsoever of what would qualify as “nonaffirming” to a child’s gender.
As Susannah Luthi of The Washington Free Beacon points 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.”
It remains unclear what law or precedent California courts would be able to cite in determining whether a parent was affirming—much less to define a standard that applies to all situations.
AB 957 isn’t Wiener’s first foray into legislating transgenderism for children. Last year, Wiener authored bill SB 107, making California the first state to establish itself as a sanctuary for minors’ transgender treatments and surgeries. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed the bill into law in September.
In March, Advocates for Faith and Freedom sued Newsom’s administration in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Western Division.
Parental rights advocates and experts lambasted Wiener’s amendment that would upend the California Family Code.
Jay Richards, the Director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Life, Religion, and Family at The Heritage Foundation, calls AB 957 a “grotesque violation.” (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
While more and more European countries pound the breaks on ghoulish gender medicine for kids, California has decided to mandate it. They not only want to make sure that any child with discordant feelings toward his or her sexed body gets fast tracked to cross-sex hormones and sterilizing surgery, state Democrats want to go after parents who might otherwise hesitate. This is a grotesque violation of both children’s and parent’s rights. Decent Californians on the Left, Right, and center should be outraged.
Nicole Pearson, founder of the Facts Law Truth Justice law firm and civil rights advocacy group, condemned AB 957’s unconstitutionality in an interview with The Daily Signal:
This bill makes law that failure to affirm your child’s identity is child abuse. This will be a final, legal determination without any evidence in support, or a hearing with notice or the opportunity to be heard. Assemblywoman Wilson and Senator Scott Wiener are not doctors. They can’t make this determination for every single child aged 0 to 17 in the state and, yet, that is exactly what they’re trying to do here.
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.
This is a horrifying bill for children, and for parents and guardians not just in California, but across the country. Gavin Newsom is gunning for president in 2028. If he signs this bill into law, here, it will be headed to every state if he wins.
AB 957 has a scheduled hearing in the State Senate on June 13 at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time.