Virginia Democrats are attempting to memory-hole commentary about a proposed bill that would reportedly make it a misdemeanor or felony if a parent does not affirm a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
A Virginia-based ABC affiliate published an interview with Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, who wanted to reintroduce a 2020 bill that expands the state’s definition of child abuse to include parents who do not fully support a child’s gender identity. Guzman is attempting to walk these comments back, arguing that WJLA is purposefully misrepresenting her commentary.
“If the child shares with those mandated reporters what they are going through, we are talking about not only physical abuse or mental abuse, what the job of that mandated reporter is to inform Child Protective Services,” Guzman initially told WJLA.
“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 continued.
Guzman — with assistance from the Washington Post — claims that the WJLA article misrepresented her legislation.
“The way the bill was presented in the article was patently wrong,” she tweeted.
“I will not let my record be distorted by anyone and I will always stand up to Republican attacks against our children,” she continued.
🧵As a social worker & mom of 4, I will always fight to protect LGBTQ children from abuse. 🧵 to set the record straight on a misleading news piece from a Sinclair-owned affiliate that mischaracterized a pro-safety, anti-abuse bill I introduced in 2020 to protect LGBTQ youth. 1/
— Elizabeth Guzman (@guzman4virginia) October 14, 2022
Commentary from a psychologist working on the legislation alongside Guzman seemingly disappeared following the WJLA article. The podcast “Out. What Now?” featured an interview with National Association of School Psychologists leader Amy Cannava, who explicitly stated the goal of the bill is to “make it illegal to not affirm” a child’s gender.
“I’ve been working with a Senator — no a representative — in a small district that I’m not a resident of. And she is a former social worker and has her clinical degree and recognizes the abuse and long-term harm caused by not affirming your kids. So we were working on a child protection bill that would make it illegal to not affirm,” Cannava said on the podcast.
VIrginia Democrats claimed @guzman4virginia didn’t criminalize parents for not affirming a child’s “gender identity” – despite Guzman clearly saying so on camera.@7NewsDC now reports that a woman working on the bill with Guzman made it just as clear on a recent podcast. /1 pic.twitter.com/OCTEGAIlWv
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) October 17, 2022
The podcast episode is no longer available online.
Not all Democrats are on-board with Guzman’s proposed legislation. Democratic House Minority Leader Don Scott Jr. said the proposal would be “dead on arrival,” per the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
A surrogate for Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who is running in one of the most competitive districts in the nation, showcased support for the legislation. Spanberger ultimately denounced the legislation in a written statement to the Washington Post. (RELATED: Rep. Spanberger Surrogate Says Parents Who Don’t ‘Affirm’ Their Child’s Gender Identity Should Be ‘Looked Into’)
“I don’t support this legislation, and it does not have a path forward in the General Assembly,” Spanberger said. “It’s unclear how this proposed legislation intends to actually help transgender children and their families, which is what we should focus on.”
Ian Prior, the executive director of the group “Fight for Schools,” told the Daily Caller that no amount of media spin can cover for the original intent of the bill.
“Democrats may want to run from Guzman’s bill, but we’re not going to let them gaslight the citizens of Virginia into thinking that the bill does not do exactly what Guzman said on camera,” Prior said. “It makes it illegal for parents not to affirm their child’s claimed ‘gender identity.’”
Guzman and Cannava did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.