A Democratic Virginia state legislator is planning to re-introduce legislation that could have considerable penalties for parents who do not “affirm” their child’s gender identity.
ABC affiliate 7News reports Democratic Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman is planning to re-introduce a bill that would update the definition of child abuse and neglect.
Reporter Nick Minok opened a segment on the legislation by noting Guzman claims the bill would “protect LGBTQ children from their parents and guardians who may not be affirming of their child’s sexual orientation and gender identity.”
“Her bill would expand the state’s definition of child abuse and neglect to include parents who do not affirm their child’s gender identity or sexual orientation,” he explained.
Guzman told Minok, “This is how we’re going to push back.”
“There is an investigation also in place that is not only, you know, from a social worker, but there’s also [a] police investigation before we make the decision that there’s going to be a CPS charge,” she added.
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🚨🚨🚨🧵Virginia Democrats to introduce legislation that would allow parents who don’t affirm their child’s “gender identity” to be criminally prosecuted. 1/pic.twitter.com/EO6HdXWmi5
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) October 13, 2022
When asked what the potential penalties could be, Guzman stressed there has to be an investigation first, as she noted a charge could harm a parent’s employment or education.
Then she explained there could be a felony or misdemeanor charge.
When asked what she would tell Republicans who claim her bill criminalizes parents, Guzman said, “It’s not. It’s educating parents because the law tells you the do’s and don’ts.”
“So this law is telling you do not abuse your children because they are LGBTQ,” she insisted.
And when asked if the legislation violates the First Amendment by requiring parents of different faiths to affirm their child’s gender identity or sexual orientation, Guzman said, “The Bible says to accept everyone for who they are. So that’s what I tell them when they asked me that question.”
“We all have a commitment to God, And for those believers out there, we know that there’s life after life, and there is going to be a conversation between that person and God, and that’s what we’re after — to go by what the Bible says. It is not my job to judge anyone. It is my job to help people,” she added.
Her plan to re-introduce the legislation comes after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) rolled out new transgender policies for schools.
The policies require students to access school facilities, such as restrooms, and participate in activities that match their sex at their birth. Additionally, the policy allows teachers to decline to refer to students by their preferred names or pronounces if they feel it would violate their beliefs.
The policy change also suggests schools should inform parents of their child’s gender identity even if they wish to keep it private.
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