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Now California is criminalising parental love

California is turning into a trans dystopia in which families will be torn apart.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Identity Politics Politics USA

California is on its way to becoming the world’s first trans dystopia. A bill currently before the California Senate says parents who fail to ‘affirm’ their child’s gender identity should be classified as ‘abusive’. What’s more, in custody battles, says the bill, judges should think twice before granting custody to the supposedly cruel parent who refuses to accept that his or her kid has switched sex or become non-binary or whatever. Judges should ‘strongly’ err on the side of giving custody to the mum or dad who genuflects to their offspring’s gender beliefs, for this is essential to ‘the health, safety and welfare of the child’, the bill says. The days when parents could get away with being ‘hurtful’ are gone, said a California assemblywoman.

Let’s put this into plain English. If your seven-year-old son tells you he’s a girl and you do not instantly treat him as a girl, you could lose him. He could be taken away from you. If your 11-year-old daughter tells you she doesn’t want to go through puberty, and you make her go through it anyway, you could be branded ‘abusive’. Simply for ensuring your child experiences the perfectly natural hormonal transition into adulthood. And what if your teen says he’s a demigirl now, who uses ze / zir pronouns? That’s a legit identity in the woo-woo world of gender ideology. The California bill’s sweeping insistence that ‘affirmation of the child’s gender identity’ be considered in custody cases would presumably target even parents who refused to submit to their son’s crackers demand that everyone refer to him as ‘ze’.

The bill in question is Assembly Bill 957 (AB957). It is ‘aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ youth’, says ABC News, hence why it ‘encourages parents to affirm their child’s gender identity’. ‘Encourage’ is such a slippery euphemism here. When the state threatens to use its extraordinary power to take your children from you, it is doing more than ‘encouraging’ you to affirm your child’s gender identity. It is forcing you to. It is coercing you to bow down to the eccentric diktats of the gender religion, threatening to tear apart your family if you do not. It is an unforgivable act of doublespeak to dress up such flagrant state interference with the rights of parents and the sovereignty of the family as ‘protecting LGBTQ+ youth’.

This bill, if passed, would fundamentally redefine family life in California. It would devastate parents’ rights. Your rights over your children – to love them, to look after them, to socialise them as you see fit – would be utterly contingent on your acceptance of the new state religion of transgenderism. AB957 is best seen as an act of forced religious conversion. It sends a stern message to parents across California that if they do not sign up to the cult of gendered souls, to the cranky belief that even young children sometimes feel a mismatch between their ‘real’ gender and their cursed biological casing, then they’ll be treated as the morally lesser party in custody hearings. Your worth as a parent will be determined by how willing you are to take the knee to the gender beliefs of your superiors.

The bill would weaken parents’ authority over their children. It would turn the family relationship on its head. The bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, says that if you have a seven-year-old kid who believes they are ‘not the same gender as they are biologically’, then you must ‘affirm’ that. In short, the child rules. The morality of the home is no longer determined by mom and pop but by the infants. Your seven-year-old, who probably believes in Santa, who probably wonders if he’s an alien every now and then, will have the power to reorient family life around his or her infantile gender fantasies. Knowing this bill exists, and that it gives legal weight to childish delusions, and that it threatens to punish gender heretics by taking their kids away, will chip away at the confidence of parents in California. They’ll tread carefully now, in their own homes.

There are other bills, too. Assembly Bill 665 would allow kids as young as 12 to seek mental-health treatment and other forms of counselling without parental knowledge. Assembly Bill 223 would seal any petition for a gender change filed by a minor – in short, keep a kid’s legal efforts to become a different gender hidden from his parents. These bills add up to an intolerable encroachment into family life where it would no longer be mother who knows best, but government. Children across California will pick up on the sinister message these bills send. Namely, that your parents can be evil people. Their archaic belief in biology is a species of prejudice. Their insistence on calling you ‘son’ even after you’ve said you’re a girl is cruel and transphobic. So trust us, instead. Flee into the arms of the state. We are better parents than your own.

The rulers of California are not alone in viewing the family as a barrier to ‘trans rights’, in seeking to drive a wedge between parents and children under the guise of defending LGBTQ+ kids. Indeed, one of the grimmest achievements of the trans ideology has been to erode the bonds between parents and their children. One of the core arguments of trans activists and the identitarian elites more broadly is that children must be protected from the backward beliefs and parenting styles of their own mothers and fathers. Hence why schools will allow kids to ‘transition’ without telling mum and dad; why trans charities offer breast-binding materials to young girls without parental consent; and why even Childline hosts discussion boards in which children are advised on how they can ‘transition’ without their parents knowing: because the trans cult, and wokeness at large, is implacably hostile to the rights of parents. It is not a mystery that states across the Western world have so feverishly embraced transgenderism – it’s because it gives them extraordinary power, unprecedented in modern times, to meddle in, reorganise and reprimand family life.

So it’s great to see parents in California rising up. This week mums and dads protested at the State Capitol in Sacramento. One placard said: ‘The state does not love your children – don’t let it parent them.’ We need to talk about love. It is not bigotry or phobia or abuse for a parent to refuse to ‘affirm their child’s identity’ – it is an act of parental love. It is a loving parent who protects his or her children from the disorienting and destructive impacts of the gender hysteria. Who protects their kids from the horrors of stalled puberty. Who protects their daughter from hormonal interventions that will break her voice and interfere with her fertility. Who protects their possibly gay son from the homophobic notion that maybe he’s a girl and should be turned into one. California is threatening to criminalise the most fundamental of motherly and fatherly instincts – to shield one’s children from harmful ideas and practices. Making love a crime is a new low, even in today’s woke dystopia.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. His new book – A Heretic’s Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable – is available to order on Amazon UK and Amazon US now. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics Politics USA

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