Virginia Democrat to Introduce Bill to Prosecute Parents Who Refuse to Treat Child as Opposite Sex

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Virginia Democratic delegate Elizabeth Guzman is seeking to introduce legislation that would hold parents criminally liable for refusing to treat their children as a different sex from the one they were born into.

The legislation, which Guzman plans to introduce in Virginia’s upcoming legislative session, would expand the definition of child abuse so that parents could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor for refusing to honor their child’s request to be treated as the opposite sex.

“If the child shares with those mandated reporters, what they are going through, we are talking about not only physical abuse or mental abuse, what the job of that mandated reporter is to inform Child Protective Services (CPS),” Guzman told 7News. “That’s how everybody gets involved. There’s also an investigation in place that is not only from a social worker but there’s also a police investigation before we make the decision that there is going to be a CPS charge.”

The move comes in response to Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin’s latest policy initiatives, which empower parents to exercise control over whether and how children transition gender in school, as well as a speech he gave at a “parents matter” rally back at the beginning of the school year. “They think parents have no right to know what your child is discussing with their teacher or counselor,” Youngkin said.

When asked by the local reporter whether she isn’t “criminalizing parents” as many Republicans argue, Guzman answered unequivocally.

“No, it’s not. It’s educating parents because the law tells you the do’s and don’ts,” Guzman answered. “So this law is telling you do not abuse your children because they are LGBTQ.” Guzman was similarly unwavering in her thoughts about whether such an approach violated free speech or religious freedom. “The Bible says to accept everyone for who they are. So that’s what I tell them when they asked me that question, and that’s what I will continue to tell people.”

Many Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists have criticized Youngkin’s recently announced education policy changes. Most prominently, the new policies prohibit teachers from using personal pronouns “not on a student’s official records.” They also reverse a previous state policy “allowing students to use bathrooms that align with their preferred gender.”

Last month, students across nearly 100 schools staged walkout protests across the state to criticize Governor Youngkin’s policies and defend transgender rights.

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