Earlier this month, the California Assembly passed AB 957, which would amend the state Family Code so that a parent who doesn’t “affirm” their child’s “gender identity” could potentially lose custody of that child in custody cases.
AB 957 would have amended the state Family Code to include “a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression as part of the health, safety, and welfare of the child.” It was widely expected that Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has signed some of the most radical laws targeting parental rights in recent years, would sign the bill.
However, in a surprise move, Newsom vetoed the bill late Friday night.
In a letter to the California Assembly, Newsom explained his decision.
“This legislation would require a court, when determining the best interests of a child in a child custody or visitation proceeding, to consider, among other comprehensive factors, a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression,” he wrote. “I appreciate the passion and values that led the author to introduce this bill. I share a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided my decisions through many decades in public office.”
“That said,” continued Newsom, “I urge caution when the Executive and Legislative branches of state government attempt to dictate – in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic – legal standards for the Judicial branch to apply. Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities.”
Newsom then argued that existing law already requires the court to consider health, safety, and welfare in child custody cases, and therefore already includes affirmation of a child’s gender identity.
Democrat state Sen. Scott Wiener, who co-authored the legislation, called Newsom’s veto “a tragedy for trans kids here & around the country. These kids are living in fear, with right wing politicians working to out them, deny them health care, ban them from sports & restrooms & erase their humanity. CA needs to unequivocally stand with these kids.”
Weiner previously authored the “pro-pedophile” bill SB145, which ended automatic sex-offender registry rules for some adults who commit sex acts with minors, insisting it would end “discrimination against LGBTQ young people on the sex offender registry.” Newsom signed that bill into law in 2020.
“Governor Newsom has been such a staunch ally to the LGBTQ community. A true champion. Respectfully, however, this veto is a mistake,” Wiener said.
When the bill was passed earlier this month, I was convinced that Newsom would sign it. There was no reason to believe he wouldn’t, given his record. So the question is, why would he veto this legislation? Frankly, when you consider his record of being a tool of the transgender cult, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, there is one possible explanation.
Newsom has clearly been positioning himself to run for president at some point in the future. Being a radical leftist can get you far in California, but in the rest of the country? Not so much. Despite being a reliable left-wing radical, he has taken a few positions that have angered his base. For example, back in May, Newsom refused to endorse a slavery reparations plan that would have entitled black California residents to payments of up to $1.2 million each. Coincidentally, a solid majority of Americans oppose reparations.
Newsom’s vote on AB 957 probably has less to do with his position on transgenderism and more to do with the parental rights issue — an issue on which, once again, Democrats are far, far away from the mainstream.
Why does this matter? Well, Newsom has long insisted that he wouldn’t run against Joe Biden in a primary for president. Does Newsom believe that Joe Biden is not going to remain a candidate much longer, and so he needs to buck his base to be viable in a national election? Does he know something we don’t?
Joe Biden ran for president claiming to be a moderate independent who could work with Republicans and Democrats to get the business of the country done. It was all a lie, of course, but is Newsom attempting to rebrand himself as a consensus candidate in anticipation of a presidential run?
I can’t think of any other reason he’d veto this bill.