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Insidious Personified: Gavin Newsom Launches Transgender Inquisition against Non-'Affirming' Parents While Trying to Hide It

Tyler O'Neil-Commentary : Sep 29, 2023
The Daily Signal

Last Saturday, the day after Newsom vetoed AB 957, he signed nine other bills aimed at "supporting LGBTQ+ Californians."

[] It's official: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has launched the transgender inquisition against non-"affirming" parents that I warned about earlier this month. Yet the Democrat found a cunning way to hide it: He made news by vetoing a horrible bill he was expected to sign. (Screengrab image)

When conservatives brand Newsom a radical opponent of parental rights, he will point to his veto of AB 957—a bill that would require family courts to consider parental stances on "gender affirmation" in custody disputes—as evidence that he's no radical.

Yet the Democratic governor's full record on the issue remains extreme—if not downright horrifying. In fact, in the days after he vetoed AB 957, Newsom signed a raft of other bills advancing transgender ideology at the expense of parental rights.

AB 957 emerged as a flashpoint for fundamental issues in California. As my colleague Tony Kinnett reported, one state senator warned parents to leave California if the bill were to become law.

When Newsom vetoed the bill late Friday night, however, he didn't condemn the legislation as radical. Instead, he applauded "the passion and values" behind the bill, and merely faulted the bill as an "attempt to dictate—in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic—legal standards for the judicial branch to apply."

The governor warned that "other-minded elected officials ... could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities."

Finally, Newsom suggested that AB 957 was unnecessary because it already is the law. He said existing law requires courts "to consider a child's health, safety, and welfare ... including the parent's affirmation of the child's gender identity."

As if this were not enough to terrify parents, the governor also signed pro-transgender legislation that will undermine parental rights.

1. Profiling Students' Parents

Last Saturday, the day after Newsom vetoed AB 957, he signed nine other bills aimed at "supporting LGBTQ+ Californians."

The governor said signing those bills into law "will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities."

Those bills "promote acceptance" by mandating adherence to the ideology that a child's "gender identity" overrides his or her biological sex. One measure would train teachers to profile parents, watching out for non-"affirming" guardians who allegedly pose a danger to their own children.

AB 5, called the Safe and Supportive Schools Act and signed into law by Newsom, will mandate an "online delivery platform and an online training curriculum to support LGBTQ cultural competency training for teachers and other certified employees."

Not only does this training enforce transgender ideology among educators, but it also trains educators to profile those despicable "anti-LGBTQ" parents.

Sure, the so-called Safe and Supportive Schools Act doesn't explicitly state that "the material will include five tips on profiling parents who dissent from gender ideology so we can rip their kids from their arms." It's far subtler than that.

The legislation signed by Newsom states that "at a minimum," training will include information on "identifying LGBTQ+ youth who are subject to, or may be at risk of, bullying and lack of acceptance at home or in their communities."

Yet how would teachers identify these allegedly vulnerable "LGBTQ+ youth" if not by examining the parents who supposedly pose such a threat to the boys and girls they brought into the world?

Make no mistake: This new law does involve training teachers to profile parents based on the likelihood that they may secretly harbor heresy against the transgender state religion.

2. Ideological Transformation of Schools

As if profiling parents were not enough, Newsom also signed SB 857,  legislation that will carry out an ideological transformation of California schools by employing an "advisory task force" focused on "LGBTQ+ pupil's needs."

Although existing California law already requires the state's Department of Education to develop training resources on how to support children who claim to identify as LGBTQ, Newsom and the Legislature seem to think this state apparatus for enforcing the new sexual morality is rather insufficient.

This new law requires the state's superintendent of public instruction to convene a task force to identify "the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and plus (LGBTQ+) pupils" and make recommendations to support "mental health and feelings of safety and support," "inclusive and safe access to school facilities," "inclusive instructional material and school curriculum," "prevention of, response to, and oversight of, bullying and harassment," and "inclusive participation in campus activities."

The task force—which must include eight students "identifying as members of the LGBTQ+ community who are enrolled in a California high school," along with mental health professionals "with a preference for those who practice LGBTQ+ affirming care," and "one community LGBTQ+ advocate"—must present findings and recommendations to the Legislature, the superintendent, and the governor before Jan. 1, 2026.

This task force undoubtedly will recommend new ways for schools to pay LGBTQ activists, preach the new sexual revolution in as many academic subjects as possible, and seek to silence anyone who dares oppose the new state orthodoxy. The one-sided nature of this task force likely will ensure that any opposition to transgender identity will be considered "bullying and harassment."

3. State Orthodoxy for Foster Parents

Newsom also signed SB 407, legislation that requires foster parents to swear allegiance to transgender ideology.

The new law will require a "resource family" in the foster care system to "demonstrate ... an ability and willingness to meet the needs of a child regardless of the child's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, and that, should difficulties around these issues arise, a willingness to obtain resources offered by the county or foster family agency or other available resources to meet those needs."

Not only must foster parents swear to uphold gender ideology, under this bill they also must swear to work with the agency on these issues "should difficulties arise." (Screengrab image)

If foster parents somehow can convince the agencies they're not transphobic bigots once, that won't be enough—the agency can check on their orthodoxy should a teacher see any hints that an "LGBTQ+ youth" might be "at risk" in their homes.

4. Restricting Concerned Parents

Newsom on Monday signed yet another bill aimed at silencing critics of gender ideology and the sexualization of schools.

The governor signed into law AB 1078, which presents itself as protecting "instructional materials and curriculum" that address "diversity." The bill aims to prohibit a public school board or a charter school governing body from "refusing to approve or prohibiting the use of any textbook, instructional material, or other curriculum or any book or other resource in a school library on the basis that it includes a study of the role and contributions of any individual or group" as laid out in requirements to "accurately portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society."

"From Temecula to Tallahassee, fringe ideologues across the country are attempting to whitewash history and ban books from schools," Newsom said in signing AB 1078. "With this new law, we're cementing California's role as the true freedom state: a place where families—not political fanatics—have the freedom to decide what's right for them."

These "political fanatics" with "fringe ideologies" are themselves parents. They have raised the alarm about sexually explicit books in school libraries.

While parents note that "Gender Queer" contains pictures of sexual acts between a boy and a man and "Lawn Boy" contains long passages in which a boy reminisces about sexual experiences at age 10, pro-transgender advocates defend these books as necessary for LGBTQ+ children to "see themselves" in literature.

The Legislature claims in this bill that "restricting access to classroom and library materials because they feature LGBTQ people or were written by LGBTQ authors discriminates against LGBTQ people and constitutes censorship in violation of California law and policy. Similarly, efforts to categorically exclude topics related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics, or of present or historical discrimination based on protected characteristics, from school library collections, curricula, or classroom discussions constitute censorship that violates California law and policy."

By preventing school boards from removing certain books from curricula or school libraries, AB 1078 will tie the hands of concerned moms and dads who object to sexual materials, books proselytizing transgender ideology, and books expounding critical race theory.

Critical race theory is a concept that encourages students to find "systemic racism" throughout American institutions and to reexamine every aspect of life through a race-based lens that assumes white people are oppressors and black people are oppressed.

Other LGBTQ Laws

Not all the legislation Newsom signed recently directly undermines parental rights, but the measures do enshrine transgender ideology into various aspects of California's law and government:

AB 994 requires police to use the preferred name and pronouns of any suspect when sharing information on social media.

SB 372 requires a board in the state Department of Consumer Affairs to update licenses to remove the former names and genders from the licenses of any person who identifies as transgender.

SB 760 forces schools to maintain "at least one all-gender restroom," with specific requirements.

SB 345 defends people who sterilize and mutilate patients in the name of "gender-affirming care" from penalties in other states.

These new laws do not directly target parental rights, but they do further entrench the transgender ideology behind Newsom's worst assaults on the right of moms and dads to make health decisions for their own children.

Under the measures that Newsom signed into law, California teachers will learn to profile non-"affirming" parents, launch an ideological transformation of schools that likely will demonize such parents as instruments of "bullying and harassment," ban such parents from raising kids in the foster system, and prevent such parents from pressuring their school boards to remove sexually explicit books from school libraries.

As I wrote earlier this month, "We're here, we're queer, we're coming for your children" might as well become the new slogan of the Golden State. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

Tyler O'Neil is managing editor of The Daily Signal and the author of "Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center."