The California Legislature passes a bill that would add gender acceptance to the list of considerations when determining child custody
TThe California Assembly has passed a bill that, if signed, will add acceptance of gender identity to the list of considerations for determining child custody.
House Bill 957 was approved on Friday by a vote of 57 to 16. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA). If it becomes law, judges in custody cases would be required to consider a parent’s opinion of their child’s gender identity.
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Under current California law, when deciding custody, the court must “determine the best interests of the child based on certain factors, including, but not limited to, the health, safety and welfare of the child.”
AB 957 would now “include confirmation of the child’s gender identity by a parent as part of the child’s health, safety and welfare,” the bill states.
The bill, titled the “Transgender, Gender-Diverse, and Intersex Youth Empowerment Act,” was introduced by Democratic Rep. Lori D. Wilson on Feb. 24 and amended in the Assembly on March 13 and in the Senate on June 5. It was adopted by the meeting again on Friday after members approved the technical fees.
This is California State Rep. Lori Wilson, who wrote AB 957: “Parents affirm their children. Typically this happens when their gender identity matches their biological sex. However, when this is not the case, the affirmation begins to wear thin… Our duty as “parents is to empower our children.” pic.twitter.com/KP2Z9sksmp
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 8, 2023
Wilson clarified during the meeting on Friday that while the bill’s title refers to “transgender, gender diverse and intersex” youth, those words are not mentioned in the bill.
“What is mentioned in the law is the child’s gender identity and expression and parental affirmation – whatever it is,” Wilson said. “Because that is our duty as parents, to encourage our children.”
Wilson’s office referred the Washington Examiner to a statement from lawmakers following the bill’s passage.
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“As the mother of a transgender son, these issues are critically important to me. Research shows that family acceptance of LGBTQ+ youth is a critical protective factor in combating depression and substance abuse. “Comprehensive social support from friends and family members is strongly associated with positive mental development, physical health and overall well-being,” Wilson said.
“I look forward to working with Governor Newsom to secure his signature and ensure our youth are protected,” she continued.