A Virginia lawmaker is planning to introduce a bill which would charge parents with a crime if they do not affirm their child’s gender identity, according to WJLA News.
Democratic Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman’s bill would expand the state’s definition of “child abuse and neglect” to include parents who fail to accept their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity, which could mean not using a child’s preferred pronouns and name, according to WJLA News. Under Guzman’s bill, an investigation would be conducted if a parent is accused of not affirming their child’s identity, possibly resulting in a misdemeanor or a felony.
“It’s educating parents because the law tells you the do’s and don’ts,” Guzman said in an interview with WJLA News. “So this law is telling you do not abuse your children because they are LGBTQ.”
A social worker, Guzman said if a child reports that their parent is not accepting of their gender identity or sexual orientation, Child Protective Services would be involved as well as the police.
“Well, we first have to complete an investigation,” Guzman told WJLA News. “It could be a felony, it could be a misdemeanor, but we know that CPS charge could harm your employment, could harm their education, because nowadays many people do a CPS database search before offering employment.”
Guzman’s plan is in response to Republican Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin’s revised transgender model policy, proposed in September, which requires parental permission if a student wishes to change their name or pronouns at school. Under the policy, students are also required to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex. (RELATED: Alexandria City Public Schools Won’t Inform Parents Of Child’s Gender Dysphoria, Bucking State Guidance)
In September, students from about 95 schools in Virginia walked out in protest of Youngkin’s policy. The Pride Liberation Project, an allegedly “student-run” organization, coordinated the walkouts and is backed by the Democratic donor group ActBlue.
Currently in Virginia, Republicans control the state’s House and executive office while Democrats have the majority in the Senate, according to Ballotpedia.
“I think that it’s extremely important that we show that as a community we are ready to accept each other for who they are and whom they love,” Guzman told WJLA News. “And this is not a bill that will agitate parents because we haven’t seen any parents to come against it.”
Nicole Neily, president of parental rights group Parents Defending Education, called Guzman’s plans “a full blown assault on parental rights” and said “families will NOT stand for it” in a Friday tweet.
Guzman did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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