California Governor Gavin Newsom decided not to sign the bill that would allow judges to take the custody of children away from parents if they refuse to accept their gender transition.
"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," Newsom said in a statement. "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."
🚨BREAKING: California Governor Gavin Newsom has just vetoed AB 957, a Bill that would have courts consider whether a parent affirms a child’s "gender identity" or "gender expression" when making custody and visitation decisions. pic.twitter.com/y5xZRMgj1W
— Colin Wright (@SwipeWright) September 23, 2023
"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," the Californian governor continued in his statement.
The California State Assembly approved at the beginning of September - with the affirmative vote of the Democratic Party - AB 957, with which parents could be blamed for child abuse and be stripped of custody simply for not accepting a child's claims about their gender identity. Additionally, child welfare standards would be changed to include gender identity as part of a child's health, safety and well-being.