Fox News recently ran a story with a rather shocking headline (that is, if you can still be shocked by the evils coming out of California on a seemingly daily basis). It read:
“CA State rep warns parents of gender-affirming law: ‘If you love your children, you need to flee California.’”
The bill in question is AB 957, which would amend the California Family Code to require courts to consider a child’s “gender identity” — and whether or not a parent is “affirming” of that identity — in custody battles.
In a press release, Assemblymember Lori Wilson, D-Suisun City, who co-sponsored the bill, known as the Transgender, Gender-Diverse, and Intersex (TGI) Empowerment Act, detailed its purpose (italics added for emphasis).
“AB 957 empowers parents who support their TGI children by clarifying once and for all that affirming a child’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child, allowing courts to consider a parent’s affirmation of their child’s gender identity when making decisions about visitation and custody. The bill will also require courts to strongly consider that affirming a child’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child when one parent does not consent to a minor’s legal name change to conform with the minor’s gender identity. AB 957 will provide affirming parents the support they need when encountering civil procedures in court that pertain to affirming and uplifting the lives of their TGI children.”
If this legislation becomes law, the ramifications are horrifyingly obvious: If two parents are locked in a custody fight for their children and one of the parents has a Christian worldview on sex and gender and won’t “affirm” their child’s desire to live a “transgender” lifestyle, then the court will take their kid away and award custody to the parent who will.
In other words, this is legalized discrimination against parents who believe in the reality of biological sex. As Wesley Smith explained in The National Review, “This means that parents in custody fights will have a material incentive to support affirmation as a means of gaining custody and judges will have to give priority to that issue when weighing and balancing the social factors that always are part of such cases.”
What’s the current status of this child-snatching legislation? On June 13, AB 957 was passed 8-2 along party lines by the California Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill is co-authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who was behind, among other depraved bills, the “trans refuge” law that empowers courts to take emergency custody of out-of-state children who are brought to California for medicalization and surgical mutilation.
Hundreds of parents showed up to protest AB 957. The Daily Signal reported that during committee consideration of the proposed law, two parents presented “harrowing testimonies about their experiences with raising children claiming to be transgender.”
One of those parents was Erin Friday, an attorney, the mother of a girl who previously identified as “trans” at age 10, and the leader of Our Duty, a parental support organization. She cited several legal issues with the bill including the fact that “AB 957 is the first bill in the nation to codify into law that a parent who does not affirm the gender identity of the child is abusive.”
“It matters not the age of the child, the absurdity of the identity adopted, co-morbid mental health issues, or persistence. Family court judges will be compelled to favor the [parent] who will affirm the child’s delusion.”
This bill will have ramifications far beyond custody disputes. Nicole Pearson, founder of the Facts Law Truth Justice law firm and civil rights advocacy group, believes that AB 957, if passed, would provide the state with the legal justification to bring child abuse charges against parents or guardians who are “unwilling or simply not ready to affirm their seven-year-old’s new identity.”
Such a claim is not hyperbole. In the immediate aftermath of the committee vote, Republican State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita — in what can only be described as a dire warning — encouraged parents to “flee” California.
“In the past when we’ve had these discussions and I’ve seen parental rights atrophied—I’ve encouraged people to keep fighting. I’ve changed my mind on that. If you love your children, you need to flee California. You need to flee.”
The question of “fleeing” blue states is a hot topic of conversation right now. Dangerous legislation like AB 957, which compels judges to “favor the parent who will affirm the child’s delusions,” only underscore the growing sense of urgency many conservative and Christian parents are feeling as they consider whether or not they can raise a family in increasingly anti-God, anti-reality, and anti-family states like California.
Texas pastor Joel Webbon of Right Response Ministries just published a book on this very topic, entitled Fight By Flight: Why Leaving Godless Places is Loving Godless Places. He has first-hand experience with the issue, having chosen to move his own family from San Diego to Texas in order to escape the Sodom-and-Gomorrah-fication of what was once one of the most vibrant states in America. In an exclusive quote provided to the Freedom Center, Pastor Webbon said:
“As I argue in my book, sadly, the only theological category many Christians possess for describing such a move is the category of compromise and surrender. But over the years, I discovered that there is a legitimate and biblical way for Christians to view their FLEEING as a form of FIGHTING.”
This bill is a perfect example of what might spur Christians to heed Webbon’s, and Senator Wilk’s, admonition to “flee.”
Some moral and political issues that Christians encounter in this life are complicated and require serious effort to work through in order to come to the right position. This child-snatching proposal is not one of those issues — all Christians should adamantly oppose this effort to force parents to affirm gender insanity or lose custody of their kids.
Throughout June, “gay pride parade” marchers have loudly proclaimed, “We are coming for your kids!” Clearly, it’s not just the activists; in California, it’s the government, too. And that sounds like a good enough reason for parents to get their kids out of the Golden State — starting now.
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