Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Charlotte Pence Bond.
The California state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make the state a haven for children who wish to go through transgender surgeries and parents who support them in the procedures, but it would also make it more difficult for parents who do not want their child to go through such treatment.
During a hearing on Wednesday, the bill's author, Senator Scott Wiener, did not specify which age a child must be to consent to such decisions.
After the bill was approved, Wiener tweeted, "Our trans state of refuge bill is on its way to the Governor after just receiving final Senate approval! SB 107 sends a crystal clear message to the nation that no matter what vile anti-LGBTQ hate laws right-wing politicians think of, California will stand with our community."
Erin Friday, a California lawyer and mother, spoke to The Daily Wire and discussed the reality of the bill and what it would mean for parents and families in other states.
The bill, SB 107, would make it so that doctors and others could ignore foreign subpoenas and essentially disregard laws of other states regarding transgender treatment of minors.
"This is really pitting state against state and creating mini countries, essentially,"
she said, adding that the law isn't "limited to states that have bans. It affects all fifty states, and what it does is it changes the family code."
The bill states that a California court would have "temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to, or threatened with, mistreatment or abuse,"
but also "because the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care."
Friday said one of the most serious parts of the legislation is where it redefines family law. The bill states that a California court would have jurisdiction to make a child custody decision if a child and at least one of the parents "or a person acting as a parent"
have a "significant connection"
with California. The bill notes that this connection requirement can be met if the child is in California "for the purpose of obtaining gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care."
Friday further explained the effect the bill could have on parental rights and families. She said the bill states that "if the child gets to California, California takes jurisdiction over the custody of that child. ... If that child gets onto California soil, California courts will decide the custody of that child."
"California courts can decide not to give those parents custody of their own child. California courts can decide that that child is better off going into foster care because those parents in that other state won't agree to, quote-unquote, gender-affirming care,"
Friday also referenced the Interstate Compact on Juveniles, which is a multi-state agreement that says if a child runs away to a different state, the state must monitor and/or return the child to the home state, according to a 2000 fact sheet by the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
"This law will turn that on its head. So how is this safeguarding children? It's not at all,"
Chloe Cole, a de-transitioner who went through transgender procedures and is now against such treatment, testified against the bill.
"SB107 is an appalling bill designed to desecrate the role of the parent in a child's life across the entire United States. It will open the floodgates for parents to weaponize the cries for help of an already confused child going through the traumatic process of divorce and family court,"
Cole told The Daily Wire. "I needed meaningful help and counseling when I was diagnosed with gender dysphoria, not unrestricted affirmation and medical intervention."
Friday is a Democrat who became involved in this issue when her own daughter believed she was transgender for several years, and Friday could not find any professionals who wouldn't affirm her child's belief.
"And I was lucky enough to get my daughter to return back to reality, and she is now happy in her female body,"
she said. "But those two years were absolute hell, and I don't want any other parent to ever go through this."