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California bill would let 12-year-olds and up legally leave home if their parents don’t support the child’s new gender identity


“This bill gives a stranger, a school psychologist, power to decide whether a sixth or seventh grader comes home from school that day, and that’s terrifying. This bill is essentially stating that parents are criminals that have to prove their innocence to get their child back.”


California lawmakers are building on the Mental Health Services for the At-Risk Youth Act signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R, in 2010 by introducing a new bill to insulate children who are seeking mental health care from their parents.

Quick Facts

The bill, AB 665, introduced by California Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, D, is touted as a means to extend mental health care by removing restrictions on existing legislation so minors over the age of 12 can autonomously seek mental health services or residence at a state-funded group home.

In 2010, newly implemented Mental Health Services for At-Risk Youth Act allowed California children above the age of 12 to undergo mental health care without parental involvement or live in a group home if the child was an alleged victim of incest or abuse and a mental health provider felt that it would be best for the child. At the time, the Center for American Progress applauded the law, describing it as a “useful model for state or federal legislation to address mental illness among LGBT youth.”

AB 665 builds on this law and existing legislation by removing the victim requirement so that any child who desires to leave the family home — especially if their parents don’t acknowledge or support their new gender identity — can do so without the consent or knowledge of his or her parents. The only thing the child needs is a mental health professional who is willing to sign off on the decision.

The bill reads:

For LGBTQ+ youth, the rejection from parents, harassment in school, and the overall LGBTQ negativity present in society can lead to depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use, and other negative outcomes. Over one-half of surveyed LGBTQ+ youth reported that not being able to get permission from their parents or guardians was sometimes or always a barrier to accessing mental health services.”

Erin Friday, a California lawyer and the mother of two teenagers, including one who grappled with transgenderism before rejecting it, described the law as “state-sanctioned kidnapping,” emphasizing that AB 665 strips parents of their rights over their children and hands the power to an outsider.

“This bill gives a stranger, a school psychologist, power to decide whether a sixth or seventh grader comes home from school that day, and that’s terrifying,” said Friday, who is also a leader of Our Duty, an advocacy group that helps families deal with gender ideology. “This bill is essentially stating that parents are criminals that have to prove their innocence to get their child back.”

Pamela Garfield-Jaeger, a long-time licensed clinical social worker, testified against the California bill in front of the Judiciary Committee, warning about the dangers of moving minors out of their homes to place them in new, government-run residences.

“I worked in group homes. I know what they are really like, and they are far from ideal,” she pleaded. “Residential facilities lead kids to adopt new harmful habits, such as drug use, self-harm, and violent behavior. Youth residential facilities are usually unlocked, and many kids run away into the hands of sex traffickers.”

Garfield-Jaeger also wrote about her testimony on her Substack, where she highlighted what she learned from working with children for the last 20 years.

“In my experience, working with youth in a school setting without parental involvement was ineffective. It was when the parents gave input, shared their point of view and communicated with their teen, [that] the real healing began.”

The bill passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee in early April and is expected to be voted on by the full legislative body in the near future.

A tactic that is all too familiar to families in Communist nations is the government’s concerted effort to sever the parent-child relationship. Isolate the child, undermine parental authority, convince the child that the parent is the enemy, and adopt the child as an agent of the state.

Today, we see this playbook rapidly unfolding in the United States, particularly with so-called “gender-affirming care.” Isolation of the child begins in the classroom, increasingly as young as preschool and kindergarten, where schools introduce radical sex education and transgender ideology. Teachers and counselors are increasingly usurping parental authority by confusing young children about their gender. They curry favor by letting the child use their new “preferred name” and by encouraging them to “dress” and “act” in a make-believe fashion. Then they convince the child that their parents won’t understand or support the “fact” that they’ve been born in the wrong body.

Finally, they encourage the child to lie to his or her parents, all the while promising to keep their “little secret” hidden. That confusion becomes “reality” to the child and the parent-child bond is further eroded when the medical and psychology professions use emotion and manipulation to gain the consent needed to permanently alter and mutilate the child’s appearance and health with hormones and surgeries.

Our “leaders” at the highest level are now deploying trusted adults to condition and groom these children from a very young age to run to strangers to feel “loved” and “wanted.”

This can be seen most clearly and tragically in the case of “Sage,” a 14-year-old girl whose gender confusion was hidden from her parents by a Virginia high school, setting in place a chain of events that led to the teen running away with an online suitor and being sex trafficked to Maryland. The upshot was that when she was finally rescued, a Baltimore judge refused to return Sage to her parents because they had “misgendered” her. He instead placed the young girl in a group home for boys, where she was sexually abused so badly she ran away and ended up again in the custody of a second sex trafficker who took her to Texas for months before she was finally rescued. Sage is once again living with her parents and no longer wants to live as a transgender.

Unfortunately, these devious moves by school districts and local governments do not stop at gender dysphoria-related issues. Ten states currently allow minors to receive an abortion with only parental notification — not parental consent. In California, minors can receive abortions and obtain birth control without parental notification or parental consent. And the District of Columbia passed a law allowing children as young as 11 to consent to vaccines, and schools are required to hide the innoculation record from the parents (though, in response to a lawsuit, a federal judge has temporarily blocked that law).

The Bible has strong warnings for those who would lead a child astray and also for those who would stand by and watch it happen. In Matthew 18:6, Jesus cautions that “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

And Proverbs 24:11-12 effectively reiterates that God takes note of those who stand by and do nothing, saying,

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”

History tells us that the motive for governments undermining and breaking the parent-child relationship is more control over the populace and more power for themselves. Yet, there is something even more nefarious going on here. If children can legally consent to abortions, vaccines, puberty blockers, and mutilating surgeries, then it won’t be long before children will be allowed to legally consent to having sex with adults. And tragically, that’s where this is leading, because without parental protection, vulnerable children like Sage and so many others become fair play for predatorial adults to use, exploit, and destroy.

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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