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Governor Newsom Vetoes AB 957
But a legislative override is still possible
September 23, 2023
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California Assembly Bill 957 would require a family court to consider a parent’s “affirmation of the child’s gender identity” in making custody determinations. The bill’s principal co-author is state Senate Scott Wiener, who journalist Abigail Shrier has accused of turning California into a “predator’s paradise.” Shrier states, “On the grounds of making California more welcoming to LGBTQ youth, State Senator Scott Wiener is transforming the state into a haven for human trafficking.”
This is a terrible bill that would elevate a child’s imagined “gender identity” over his or her sex and remove children from the custody of parents who want to help their children accept themselves as they are.
From the California Legislative Counsel’s Digest:
Existing law governs the determination of child custody and visitation in contested proceedings and requires the court, for purposes of deciding custody, to determine the best interests of the child based on certain factors, including, among other things, the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
This bill, for purposes of this provision, would include a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child.
It passed in the Senate on September 6 and then in the Assembly on September 8.
Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed it. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time the governor has vetoed a bill that was being advanced by Senator Wiener to abolish sex at the altar of “gender identity.”
The governor’s veto letter to the Assembly states:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 957 without my signature.
This legislation would require a court, when determining the best interests of a child in a child custody or visitation proceeding, to consider, among other comprehensive factors, a parent's affirmation of the child's gender identity or gender expression.
I appreciate the passion and values that led the author to introduce this bill. I share a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided my decisions through many decades in public office.
That said, 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.
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.
For these reasons, I cannot sign this bill
This veto is a big win for the movement to stop the abolition of sex.
However, a legislative override is still possible. A friend reports that it takes two-thirds of both houses to override a veto, and both houses passed it with 75% approving. He says, “they can override this veto if they can hold the vote together.”
California readers, please get on the phone to your assembly members and senators. Please tell them not to override this veto. The health and safety of children depends on it. (This is also a good time to remind readers to subscribe to Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans (PITT) - one of the best resources out there for understanding how the movement to abolish sex is destroying families).