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The Red State v. Blue State war over trans-ing kids and why California is pivotal

We must resist gender ideology everywhere because blue-state kids matter too
 California state capitol building in Sacramento, California.
California state capitol building in Sacramento, California. | Getty/Stock photo

A brewing movement of California parents is underway that blue-state politicians would do well to watch. 

Growing concern about what is happening to children may be the issue that bridges the divide between liberals and conservatives because most people want their children to grow up to live long and healthy lives. The ideological push to transition them to another “gender identity” by way of experimental medicalization is not landing well among the general public. 

In the Golden State, the disdain for harming children has yielded cross-partisan efforts, such as Protect Kids of California, which is trying to make California the first blue state to ban hormonal and surgical gender interventions on minors, prohibit schools from deceiving parents about their child’s gender distress and return sports and bathrooms to be based upon sex, not “gender identity.”

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A strong majority of Californians do not support giving gender-confused minors puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and the performing of trans surgeries on their developing bodies. A November SPRY Strategies poll of California voters revealed that 63% oppose such experimental interventions on minors and 68% believed parents should not lose custody of their kids for not affirming their child’s chosen “gender identity.”

Presently, 23 states throughout the U.S. South and Midwest have adopted laws that, to varying degrees, restrict hormonal interventions and surgical procedures for minors. Whether or not the strategy of pushing these laws through red state legislatures will prove successful given the many unknowns should the U.S. Supreme Court ever weigh in on a state ban remains to be seen.

In California, legislators have rubber-stamped several laws in recent years that were championed by trans activists, most notably SB 107, which made the state a “trans sanctuary.” The law enables out-of-state parents and youth to avoid their home state’s ban on trans-medical interventions to alter their bodies to mimic the other sex. Parents who might face prosecution in red states for having medically transitioned their minor children now have refuge in California. 

That law even eviscerated the state’s Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which previously would have required California courts to return any runaway child to his or her home state. Now, under SB107, the California courts will take jurisdiction over the child and may or may not return custody to the out-of-state parents, so long as that child is present in California for any type of gender intervention.

State senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is the driving force behind that statute and other legislation, including a bill he co-sponsored, AB 957, that would have codified in law that it is in the child’s best interest for his health, safety, and welfare to have their “gender identity” supported, whatever that identity may be, regardless of age or any companion mental health issues. The proposed law was written to apply only in custody disputes and would have mandated family court judges to favor the parent who is willing to transition the child.

California parents saw through what Wiener and his colleagues were doing and fought vigorously against it even as it passed through both legislative chambers. Governor Newsom felt the pressure and vetoed it but he lost nothing politically in doing so because the mechanisms were largely already in place in the state to do what the law proposed.

As I detailed in a July investigative piece examining Bay area dad Ted Hudacko’s harrowing case, family court judges and the legal system are heavily influenced by gender ideology and the degree of the ideological capture is astonishing. Parents with objections to trans medical procedures have little to no recourse in California as they are up against a constellation of forces and they are rarely awarded custody of a gender-distressed child when there is a dispute. AB 957 was, for almost all intents and purposes, already the de facto law of the land.

Yet during the legislative debate, AB 957 alarmed some lawmakers so much that they went so far as to urge families to leave the state.

"In the past, when we've had these discussions, and I've seen parental rights atrophied — I've encouraged people to keep fighting," Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Lancaster, Santa Clarita) warned in June.

He added: "If you love your children, you need to flee California. You need to flee.”

Its left-wing government notwithstanding, California is home to many who object to the transgender revolution and ideology. It’s a state of nearly 40 million people and there are scores of decent families of all stripes who want what everyone else does — to live their lives in peace and to keep their kids safe. Those parents are activated and using the available political tools they have.

Currently in motion is an initiative called Protect Kids CA which is being spearheaded by activist Erin Friday, a lifelong Democrat and a mom who became concerned when her daughter began identifying as transgender. 

Friday recounted in episode 2 in CP’s third season of our documentary podcast, “Generation Indoctrination”, that this battle must be won in states like California given the policies that have been enacted there. 

“California is where the fight must be because it doesn’t matter that 20 states are banning gender interventions on kids. They can all flock to my state and get it here. They can hide the doctors so if the doctors violate laws in Tennessee, they can come to California and law enforcement will protect them,” she said.

“Every parent in America that is against removing healthy body parts of children, sterilizing children, must do something.”

Friday and her colleagues are hoping to raise $6 million by the middle of February to ensure collection of petition signatures which must be obtained by April 18 if they are to place this initiative on the November 2024 ballot. The cross-partisan volunteer effort is reportedly growing exponentially.

Among those backing the initiative is Assemblyman Bill Essayli, a Republican who represents portions of the city of Corona and the Temescal Valley region in southern California. He also happens to be a Muslim. The legislature has refused to consider his bill containing provisions that appear on the proposed ballot initiative.

“If the legislature will not hear the people, we will make sure that the people will have their voice heard, and we’re going to do that at the ballot box,” Essayli said at a rally in Sacramento last month.


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