The office of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California pressured the state legislature’s LGBTQ caucus to shelve a bill on transgender issues amid concerns that it would provoke a backlash from parental rights groups, according to a report by Politico.
Several school boards across California, at the urging of parents opposed to transgender ideology, have recently adopted policies that require parental notification if a child uses pronouns or wears the attire of a gender disjunct from their biological sex. After LGBTQ Democratic state legislators planned to introduce a bill that would have required parental notification only with a child’s consent, Newsom’s advisers intervened to block the bill’s introduction amid concerns that it would be poorly received by parents, Politico reported, citing two legislators who spoke anonymously. (RELATED: ‘What The Hell Is Going On?’: California Parents, School Board Members Slam Dems’ Targeting Of Parental Rights)
“The administration is proud to be working with the LGBTQ Caucus … it’s imperative we turn down the noise of the culture wars and approach this topic with grace and humility,” said Izzy Gardon, a spokesperson for Newsom, in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Newsom’s chief of staff, Dana Williamson, and legislative adviser, Christy Bouma, held a conference call with members of the state legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus to persuade them to pause the introduction of the bill, the anonymous legislators claimed. Democratic Assemblyman Chris Ward of San Diego, the vice chairman of the caucus, decided he would not introduce their draft legislation a few days later, the sources claimed.
California Voting Record of AB 957’s bill that was passed, requiring parents to affirm kids’ gender, and if they don’t, they lose custody. pic.twitter.com/9wPvmEPgJ9
— Eliza (@elizachanteuse) September 17, 2023
“We want to make sure that we were including the governor’s office and others in that conversation and needing a little bit more time,” Ward told Politico. His colleague, Democratic Assemblyman Rick Zbur of Los Angeles, said that the bill was pulled over concerns that parents would see the bill as “harming relationships with their kids.”
The chair of the caucus, Democratic state Sen. Susan Eggman of San Joaquin County, denied that she “felt bossed” around by Newsom’s staff.
School boards across the state — such as the Chino Valley and Orange unified school districts near Los Angeles as well as the Rocklin and Dry Creek unified school districts near Sacramento — have passed new policies that require parents to be notified if a child wishes to change their gender identity. The Chino Valley district has been sued by the state for violating California guidelines, which prevent schools from notifying parents in such circumstances, with a preliminary injunction having been issued against the district.
However, those statewide guidelines were themselves, ruled unconstitutional on Sept. 14 by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, in a case brought by a teacher against the Escondido Union School District near San Diego, which had imposed a policy of “faculty confidentiality and non-disclosure regarding a student’s newly expressed gender identification,” according to the injunction.
“[P]arents of schoolchildren have a God-ordained right to know of significant gender identity-related events,” wrote senior U.S. District Judge Roger T. Benitez, an appointee of President George W. Bush. “It harms the parents by depriving them of the long-recognized Fourteenth Amendment right to care, guide, and make health care decisions for their children.”
It is unclear, after Benitez’s constitutional ruling, whether legislation by California to condition parental notification on child consent would be constitutional. The text of the draft bill considered by the LGBTQ caucus has not yet been published.
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