California passes bill requiring judges to consider whether parents affirm child’s gender identity in custody cases

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – On Wednesday, The California state Senate passed a bill requiring judges to consider whether a parent affirms their child’s gender identity when ruling on post-divorce custody and visitation rights, the Associated Press reports. 

Introduced by Democratic lawmakers as AB 957, the bill passed with no support from Republicans, AP said. The legislation now passes to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) for approval of any amendments and for signing.

Bill AB 957 does not require judges to prioritize a parent’s position on the child’s gender identity but makes affirmation a factor that the courts must consider in custody proceedings, AP reports. The bill was introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Lori Wilson, who has an adult son who came out as transgender when he was a teenager.

“Wilson said gender affirmation could include letting children play with toys associated with their gender identity, getting their nails painted or wearing their hair at a length that feels comfortable,” AP said in its report. “The bill does not outline specific requirements related to gender-affirming surgeries, which minors in California cannot undergo without a parent’s consent.”

The California state Senate also approved legislation Wednesday to keep documents related to a gender change petition for a child out of the public record, AP said.

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