Newsom Vetoes CA Gender-Identity Bill 

The Berggruen Prize Gala - Arrivals
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 04: California Governor Gavin Newsom attends the Berggruen Prize Gala at Berggruen Hearst Estate on May 04, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
10:51 AM – Saturday, September 23, 2023

Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a California Bill that would allow parents to lose custody of their children if they refused to accept their gender identity.


On Friday, Newsom (D-Calif.) vetoed Assembly Bill (AB) 957, which the Assembly had approved on a party-line vote of 57-16. The governor wrote a message where he said that the bill’s approach could be used “to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities.”

“Moreover, a court, under existing law, is required to consider a child’s health, safety, and welfare when determining the best interests of a child in these proceedings, including the parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity,” Newsom’s message read. “For these reasons, I cannot sign this bill.”

The bill was introduced by Democrat Assemblywoman Lori Wilson in hopes that parents will “affirm their children” in their gender identity saying “our duty as parents is to affirm our children.” 

Originally, AB 957 recommended that courts resolving custody issues evaluate whether each parent confirmed the child’s gender identity. In June, an amendment was added to the state’s threshold of what constitutes parental responsibility in a court of law for caring for “the health, safety, and welfare of the child.”

Newsom stated that he appreciated the “passion and values” by Wilson and that he shares a “deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided [his] decisions through many decades in public office.” 

Wilson released a statement in response to the California Governor’s Veto and said she was “extremely disappointed.” 

“I am extremely disappointed. I know the Governor’s record. He’s been a champion for the LGBTQ+ community for years and even before it was popular to do so,” Wilson said. “However, on this point, the Governor and I disagree on the best way to protect [Transgender, Gender-Diverse and Intersex] kids.”

Wilson also reportedly stated that she has been “disheartened” over the last few years as she “watched the rising hate and heard the vitriol towards the trans community.” 

“My intent with this bill was to give them a voice, particularly in the family court system where a non-affirming parent could have a detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of a child,” she said. “Whether the roadblock comes from the opposition or even a supporter, it only hardens my resolve. I’m far from done, this fight is personal! Not just for my family, but to all the trans kids that deserve a brighter and safer future.”

Nonetheless, Newsom stated that even if the measure was not enacted, judges are still “required to consider a child’s health, safety, and welfare” in the context of their gender identification when hearing out parents in child custody proceedings.

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