Blue-state governor cautioned about precedent to ‘diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities’
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill Friday that would have required custody courts to consider if parents affirm their children’s “gender identity,” a press release from the governor’s office announced.
The bill, coauthored by Democratic Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo and Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, faced backlash from parents after it passed the state legislature on Sept. 8. Newsom argued that California law already requires courts to consider “the parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity” in such cases, and cautioned that “other-minded elected officials” could use the precedent to “diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities,” according to the announcement.
“I appreciate the passion and values that led the author to introduce this bill. I share a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided my decisions through many decades in public office,” Newsom wrote in the announcement. “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.”
The California legislature has sent several bills to the governor’s desk that could restrict parents’ rights, including a bill that would allow children to seek mental help without parental approval. Children as young as 12 years old would be allowed to receive “residential shelter services” if they face “LGBTQ+ negativity” at home, according to the bill’s text.
The state legislature also planned to introduce a bill that would require schools to not notify parents if their child decided to use a different gender at school, but Newsom reportedly pressured lawmakers not to introduce the measure. The move came as many California school districts have defied California guidance by notifying parents if their child decides to switch genders.