A controversial LGBT affirmation bill (AB-175) that forces caregivers to use a foster child’s “pronoun of preference” heads to its first committee hearing next Tuesday. Its author, Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Compton), argues the bill is needed to ensure foster youth have an “inclusive” home environment, while religious liberty experts say the law disregards the free speech rights of foster parents.
“California lawmakers seek to empower troubled teens with legal authority to choose their own names and correct the grammar of their parents,” said Kevin Snider, Chief Counsel Pacific Justice Institute. “The bill fundamentally disregards the free speech rights of foster parents by compelling them to say something they don’t agree with.”
AB 175 adds the following new rights to the current “Foster Youth Bill of Rights”:
- The right to be referred to by one’s preferred name and gender pronoun;
- The right to receive adequate clothing, grooming, and hygiene products, that reflex a child’s sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression;
- The right to attend school clubs, parades, and other activities consistent with the child’s age, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression;
- The right to have reasonable access to computer technology and the internet.
“These new rights are going to put Christian foster parents in an impossible position,” said California Family Council President Jonathan Keller. “Either they will violate this law by remaining faithful to their biblical beliefs about the biological/binary nature of gender, or they will violate their faith by affirming the confused gender feelings of their foster care children. Why would the state want to push Christian foster parents out of the system, when foster parents are already in short supply?”
Medical doctors with the American College of Pediatricians have also voiced opposition to this bill, knowing it will lead many foster children to seek harmful gender transitioning drugs that do not solve the struggles these children have.
“The risks and permanent consequences of a minor undergoing transitioning are sobering,” wrote Dr. Andre Van Mol, MD, Co-chair, Committee on Adolescent Sexuality, American College of Pediatricians in his AB 175 opposition letter. “Medicalizing with gender affirming therapy makes someone a patient for the rest of their life, both for ongoing treatment and the complications they may bring. Minors cannot grasp that risk or that GAT cannot be taken back.Read Dr. Van Mol’s entire opposition letter here…