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Newsom Vetoes Bill That Would Punish Parents Who Don't Affirm Child's Trans Disorder

In this Sept. 14, 2021, file photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Fil

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that would have required judges to consider whether parents affirmed their child's gender disorder when making decisions in custody court battles.

In a statement released late Friday, Newsom noted that while he has a "deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians," he stopped short of approving the legislation.

"I urge caution when the Executive and Legislative branches of state government attempt to dictate — in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic — legal standards for the Judicial branch to apply. Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities," the governor's statement said.

"Moreover, a court, under existing law, is required to consider a child's health, safety, and welfare when determining the best interests of a child in these proceedings, including the parent's affirmation of the child's gender identity," he concluded.

As CBN News reported, AB 957 already required courts to consider whether parents are affirming their child's gender in custody battles, but a proposed amendment to the existing state law "would include a parent's affirmation of the child's gender identity as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child."

The new amendment would have altered the California Family Code to allow courts to step in if a family disapproves of transgender ideology.

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"This means that parents in custody fights will have a material incentive to support affirmation as a means of gaining custody and judges will have to give priority to that issue when weighing and balancing the social factors that always are part of such cases," Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism, warned earlier this year.

Scott Altman, a law professor at the University of Southern California who specializes in family law, told the New York Times that Newsom's veto might have stemmed from a concern that courts might overemphasize this one facet of parental love, or could lead courts to discriminate against parents whose religions adhere to traditional gender roles, or that allowing this explicit reference to affirming gender identity might provoke more opposition to the L.G.B.T.Q. agenda in other states.

But Randy Thomasson, founder and president of SaveCalifornia.com, says Newsom's decision to veto the bill was more politically strategic.

"We knew this radical anti-parent, anti-religious-freedom bill was vetoable -- because Newsom IS running for president," he explained. "And he doesn't want Republican candidates or media or even less-liberal Democrats in other states saying, 'Hey, you sign a bill against parents, against religious freedom, and in favor of the 'trans' agenda targeting our children!'"

"So, there you have it. Gavin Newsom is against the natural family, against parental rights, against biological facts, and against the best interests of children. But he's running for president (he's waiting for the White House Occupant to step aside)," Thomasson continued. "I congratulate everyone who opposed this evil bill — this is your victory!"

California's state legislature approved AB 957 along party lines and Newsom's break from supporting the bill shocked members of his party.

Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, the bill's sponsor who has a transgender adult son, said she was "extremely disappointed."

"My intent with this bill was to give them a voice, particularly in the family court system where a non-affirming parent could have a detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of a child," Wilson said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Republican Assemblyman Bill Essayli called it "fantastic news, and the right call."

The amended bill could still become law if Democrats, who hold supermajorities in both chambers, override Newsom's veto with a two-thirds vote.
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