California Governor Gavin Newsom has been suave in his stealth candidacy for president. He’s skirted the necessity to file marketing campaign fundraising and spending experiences by stating hat he has “sub-zero curiosity” in operating for the White House — at the same time as he spent his California marketing campaign money shopping for billboards and TV advertisements in different states. He lately fashioned a brand new marketing campaign committee to pay for journey across the nation, the place he presses the flesh and denies he’s a candidate.
One of Newsom’s most suave strikes was a flip-flopping on the problem of reparations, proudly signing the regulation that created the California Reparations Task Force in September 2020, then this previous May telling Fox News that he doesn’t essentially endorse “money funds.”
But two controversial payments that might land on Newsom’s desk could check his talent as an suave dodger.
Assembly Bills 665 and 957 are each on the verge of passage, probably placing Newsom within the heart of the risky parental rights debate, which rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made such a signature challenge that he even created a political motion committee referred to as “Empower Parents PAC.”
AB 665 cites the necessity to shield “LGBTQ+ youth” from “rejection from mother and father” and “negativity current in society.” It would enable youngsters as younger as 12 to enter residential shelters with a view to obtain psychological well being providers. Parents wouldn’t have to provide their consent and won’t even be notified that their little one is receiving such care.
Instead, underneath AB 665, “skilled individuals” — even a “social work intern” — offering therapy or counseling could be allowed to resolve whether or not it will be “inappropriate” to let mother and father know what’s occurring with their children.
Current California regulation usually doesn’t enable youngsters as younger as 12 to obtain psychological well being therapies or shelter care with out parental consent until the kid is a hazard to themselves or others, or the alleged sufferer of abuse. AB 665 removes these situations.
The different politically fraught invoice that might confront Newsom is AB 957, which impacts little one custody disputes. Current regulation requires a courtroom that’s deciding custody to find out the very best pursuits of the kid based mostly on elements equivalent to their well being, security and welfare. AB 957 expands the definition of “well being, security, and welfare” to incorporate “a mother or father’s affirmation of the kid’s gender identification or gender expression.”
“Affirmation features a vary of actions and can be distinctive for every little one, however in each case should promote the kid’s total well being and well-being,” the invoice states. What does “total well being” imply on this context? Imagine a toddler voices a “gender expression” and their mother and father have opposing views on whether or not “affirmation” ought to embody puberty blockers or surgical procedure. What is a decide presupposed to do — revoke custody?
Once the definition of the “well being, security, and welfare of the kid” is modified within the California Family Code, this hazy definition of “affirmation” could discover its approach into the enforcement of different legal guidelines. For instance, California Penal Code Section 11165.6 defines “little one abuse or neglect” as “the willful harming or injuring of a kid or the endangering of the individual or well being of a kid.” But does it endanger the well being of a kid to withhold medical interventions equivalent to puberty blockers or different transgender-related procedures? Or does it endanger the well being of the kid to permit it?
And who decides? The little one? A decide? A social work intern?
Newsom has denounced DeSantis for signing the Parental Rights in Education invoice – the supposed “Don’t Say Gay” regulation banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identification in kindergarten by third grade. DeSantis, in the meantime, has repeatedly pointed to the continuing exodus of California residents — together with many who fled to Florida throughout Covid. “Leftist authorities is destroying that state,” DeSantis advised a latest gathering of conservative activists.
AB 665 and AB 957 have handed within the Assembly and await a Senate ground vote in August. If they attain Newsom’s desk and he indicators them, DeSantis is properly positioned to select up assist from outraged mother and father.
Much like reparations, the problem of parental rights may simply hound Newsom all through his “marketing campaign” for president — whether or not in 2024, 2028 or past.
Susan Shelley is a columnist and editorial author for the Southern California News Group. On Twitter @Susan_Shelley.