CA Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Judges to Consider Gender Affirmation in Custody Cases

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The governor of California has vetoed a bill that would have required judges to consider if a parent affirms their child’s gender identity when the court makes custody decisions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he couldn’t approve the bill, saying he has a “deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians,” but courts already consider health, safety, and welfare when making their decisions, the Associated Press reports.

“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,” the governor’s statement said.

While the bill would not have forced judges to prioritize whether a parent affirms their child’s gender identity, assembly member Lori Wilson said the bill would have given a voice to the trans community.”

She introduced the bill after her son came out as transgender as a teenager.

“I’ve been disheartened over the last few years as I watched the rising hate and heard the vitriol toward the trans community. 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, every Republican in the California Senate voted against the bill.

“Inserting this into the mix is going to pit one parent against the other and make things worse,” Sen. Kelly Seyarto said.

Previously, Newsom has approved a number of bills that offered protections for LGBTQ+ citizens.

“California is proud to have some of the most robust laws in the nation when it comes to protecting and supporting our LGBTQ+ community, and we’re committed to the ongoing work to create safer, more inclusive spaces for all Californians,” Newsom said in a statement. “These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities.”


CA Passes Bill Punishing Parents Who Won’t Affirm Their Child’s Gender Identity during Custody Battles

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/ADragan

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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