Transgender children in California would be denied certain health care and potentially limited in their choice of youth sports teams under two proposed statewide ballot measures unveiled at a Sacramento news conference Monday afternoon, Aug. 28.
Protect Kids California, which staged the news conference on the state Capitol steps, also is seeking a ballot measure that would require California schools to tell parents if their child identifies as transgender. Several Southern California school boards have recently adopted this policy.
The other two ballot initiatives would ban those who weren’t born girls from competing in girls’ sports and “prevent the sterilization of children by prohibiting the use of puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and genital surgeries for minors,” according to a coalition news release.
“We are not attacking trans kids. We are protecting them,” Republican Assemblymember Bill Essayli, who represents part of western Riverside County, said at the conference, which was attended by school board members and those who said they are parent advocates.
Children struggling with gender identity have better outcomes “when their parents are involved, not when they’re excluded,” said Essayli, who sponsored legislation that would require all California schools to tell parents if their child is transgender. His bill, AB 1314, was denied a committee hearing.
It’s those who shut out parents who are harming transgender children, Essayli said.
“They are going to cause them to experience irreparable harm by sterilizing them or putting them down a path that leads to medical intervention,” he said. “This is not reversible.”
The “anti-LGBTQ rhetoric” from groups such as Protect Kids California is harming LGBTQ youth, said Jorge Reyes Salinas, a spokesperson for the LGBTQ civil rights group Equality California. For example, he said there has been a rise in calls to LGBTQ suicide hotlines in recent weeks.
“This is really not about protecting LGBTQ youth or protecting children as a whole,” Salinas said. “This is about being hateful and practicing discrimination toward LGBTQ youth and specifically trans youth … clearly, this is a fight they’re choosing to single out and pick on” the most vulnerable segment of the LGBTQ community.
The Protect Kids news conference came hours after California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District over its policy requiring parents to be told if their child identifies as transgender.
If that lawsuit prevails, similar policies in the Temecula Valley and Murrieta Valley unified school districts would also be struck down, Bonta said.
Protect Kids needs at least 546,651 signatures from California registered voters — equivalent to 5% of all ballots cast in the 2002 gubernatorial election — to qualify each of its ballot measures for the November 2024 ballot.
The California Secretary of State will determine whether the measures have enough signatures to qualify. Signatures are verified and ballot measure organizers typically submit more signatures than needed in case signatures are disqualified.
The chances a measure qualifies for the ballot “depends on money,” Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College, said via email. “If there is serious financial support for the effort, they will probably get the necessary signatures.”
It’s less certain the measures will pass, Pitney said.
“In November 2024, there will be a large turnout for the Democratic presidential candidate, probably (President Joe) Biden,” he said.
“A big Democratic turnout would tend to favor the ‘no’ side. But public opinion on these issues is complicated, and progressives should not assume that such measures are doomed.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)