Republicans are facing an uphill battle in the Virginia Senate getting Sage’s Law, a bill which requires parental notification of a child’s sex transition, to the governor’s desk, according to multiple Delegates who spoke with the Daily Caller.
The Virginia House approved a bill Feb. 7 which bans teachers from keeping a child’s sex transition from their parents, and clarifies the definition of “child abuse,” so it cannot be equated to misgendering. The bill is named after a teen girl who was sex-trafficked and raped after the school hid her gender identity from her parents. The state then removed her from her parent’s custody over allegations of “misgendering,” where she was kept in a male children’s home and repeatedly assaulted.
The bill will need to be considered in the Education and Health Committee in the Senate to move forward. The 15 person committee, stacked 9 to 6 in favor of Democrat lawmakers, is unlikely to allow the bill to see the light of the Senate floor, Virginia Delegate John McGuire told the Caller. (RELATED: ‘I Wish They Had Been More Understanding’: Detransitioner Says Adults Told Him His Family Was ‘Enemy Number One’)
“They don’t always put things on the Senate side with logic, they put it wherever it’s gonna go to die,” McGuire said.
“I don’t think it’s any secret what’s going to happen in the Senate,” Delegate Tara Durant also told the Caller. “So I really would not be surprised if this one does not have an opportunity to be presented.”
Delegate Emily Brewer also pointed to the tough battle in the committee as the first issue Republicans face with moving the bill forward.
“That’s what a lot of people in Virginia don’t realize,” Delegate Brewer told the Caller. “Even though we have 22 Democrat Senators and 18 Republican Senators, the hard part is in committees. So that’s, you know, our big, big, big problem.”
Democrat opposition to the bill mostly focuses on a perceived risk of children being forcibly outted to unwelcoming parents who abuse their transgender identified children. Democrat Delegate Danice A. Roem made such an argument on the House floor before lawmakers voted on Sage’s Law.
“If you want experiences, if you wanna hear lived experiences from the very kids who this bill would affect, go talk to the kids who were kicked out of their homes, and who were beaten for being outed against their own will,” Roem said.
Statement from @DaveLaRockForVA to the @DailyCaller:
“We can’t undo the harm done to Sage, but we can help protect others.”
“Today, 50 Republican Delegates passed Sage’s Law and said NEVER AGAIN will we allow this to happen to another child.”https://t.co/mHzc8ESNOy pic.twitter.com/yEcVx0bh7S
— Sarah Weaver (@SarahHopeWeaver) February 7, 2023
“Their concerns are focusing on children being outed ending up on the street,” Delegate LaRock, who introduced Sage’s Law in the Virginia House, said to the Caller. “I hear anecdotal stories and it may be true, but they have Child Protective Services on their side if that’s happening. So it’s hard to merge the conversations because there’s this knee jerk reaction to anything that isn’t distinctly pro LGBT.”
“I wish that when we talk about legislation like this, we would really truly look at what the heart of the bill actually does, and not the hyperbolic nature of what people want to make it about,” Emily Brewer, a Delegate who is running for Senate in Virginia, told the Caller.
But at the end of the day, McGuire told the Caller, “it’s party line.”
“I wish I could give you some good news. I’d ask you to pray,” he continued.
But LaRock says he still remains hopeful that his bill’s allies will be able to muster the support in the Senate to send Sage’s Law to Governor’s Youngkin’s desk.
“I’m a praying man,” LaRock said. “Somebody laid a verse on my desk from the Bible. ‘With man things are impossible but not with God, for all things are possible with God.’ Mark 10:27. I hang on to that. A lot of people are praying about the outcome.”