Parent Speaks Out Against Legislation to Make California a Trans Sanctuary State

By Brad Jones
Brad Jones
Brad Jones
Brad Jones is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California.
June 15, 2022 Updated: June 20, 2022

A mother of a teen who once suffered from gender dysphoria is speaking out against making California a sanctuary state for transgender youth and their “gender-affirming” parents, saying it would be a big mistake that would only worsen the “largest medical scandal in history.”

Erin Friday, a self-declared Democrat whose daughter no longer identifies as trans, told the California Assembly judiciary committee at a June 8 hearing that transgender indoctrination of children is a “social contagion.”

“Don’t make California a refuge for what will be seen as the largest medical scandal in history. Educate yourself,” she told the committee.

Friday vehemently opposes Senate Bill 107, which would “provide refuge” for trans youth, their parents, and those who advocate for and provide “gender-affirming” care for minors, according to supporters.

“Gender-affirming” care can include social transitioning, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones for children who identify as trans, often without parental consent. Some parents who have declined such treatment have lost custody of their children.

Epoch Times Photo
Erin Friday, the mother of a teen who once suffered from gender dysphoria, speaks at a California Assembly judiciary committee hearing in Sacramento on June 8, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Assembly)

The proposed legislation would prohibit health care providers and contractors from releasing medical information “related to a person or entity allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care.”

Additionally, SB 107 would prohibit law enforcement agencies from arresting or extraditing parents charged in other states or nations for child abuse or other crimes related to allowing minor children to receive these medical treatments.

“Starting with our legislation in California, we are building a coordinated national legislative campaign … to provide refuge for trans kids and their families,” said bill author state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), in a statement.

Gut-and-Amend Bill

The proposed legislation initially pertained to food stamps and child care and bypassed the Assembly health committee, but the bill was amended in April and is now directly related to health care. It’s a clear example of what is known as a “gut-and-amend” bill, said an inside source in the legislature, which is when a piece of legislation is completely rewritten from scratch.

“This is a common game that Democrats play that Republicans are not allowed to do,” the source said.

The source, who spoke to The Epoch Times on the condition of anonymity, said it appears that the Democrats are trying to avoid a public debate in a health committee.

And, because the existing laws that SB 107 would affect are all housed under family code, civil code, and penal code, the bill likely won’t be referred to the Assembly health committee, “where there should be a robust discussion about the implications of promoting and, frankly, breaking from the United States … over a health decision,” the source said.

Epoch Times Photo
California State Senator Melissa Melendez speaks at a hearing in Sacramento on April 6, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Senate)

Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) told The Epoch Times that the bill could still be re-referred to the health committee depending on what the rules committee decides. As the majority party, the Democrats hold the most seats on the rules committee and thus have the upper hand on which committees hear which bills.

“It will definitely get a hearing in the Senate if it makes it off the Assembly floor and comes back to the Senate in August,” Melendez said.

“If parents weren’t already scared that government was coming for their children, they should be now. SB 107 is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this war on parents,” she said. “As the mother of five children, I would fight to the bitter end before I let government take my kids away from me. I’m completely stunned this legislation would go so far as to take children away from their parents just to push this leftist political agenda.”

A ‘Social Contagion’

As a California leader in the group Our Duty, an international organization that resists trans activism and rejects the narrative that some people are trapped in the wrong bodies, Friday argued against forcing “gender-affirming care” on gender dysphoric minors.

“The number of kids going to gender clinics is skyrocketing. In the UK, it is a 5,000 percent uptick for girls. It’s the same here,” she testified.

Friday criticized California lawmakers for pushing gender affirmative medicine for minors while other countries are moving away from the affirmation model.

“Look to Sweden, Finland, Norway, the UK, and France. You need to be 100 percent confident that sterilizing children is truly lifesaving,” she said.

Friday contends Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria (RODG) is not an organic phenomenon but is triggered by trans activism in the medical community and in schools, which is encouraged by “affirming” models of care.

“We parents know it’s a social contagion as we watch clusters of friend groups come out as trans. It’s not organic,” she said. “If trans medicine prevents suicide, why then as trans medicine gets more prevalent are more girls committing suicide? Why are they suffering from severe depression, engaging in self harm?”

Epoch Times Photo
Greg Burt of the California Family Council holds up a copy of Abigail Shrier’s book “Irreversible Damage” at a California Assembly judiciary committee hearing in Sacramento on June 8, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Assembly)

Greg Burt of the California Family Council held up a copy of Abigail Shrier’s book, “Irreversible Damage” in front of the state committee to emphasize the effects of puberty blockers, hormone therapy and “gender reassignment” surgery has had on transitioners, many who have later experienced deep regrets.

“She brings up some very concerning things about the gender-affirming care that’s being promoted in this bill. [It] destroys the reproductive systems, especially of young women,” he said.

Out-of-State Laws

Sen. Wiener, an LGBT activist who recently proposed to offer Drag Queen 101 as part of the K-12 school curriculum, told the committee that he and Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) co-authored the bill “because of a horrific wave of legislation” in other states, such as Texas and Alabama, that he claims is “criminalizing trend the families of trans children.”

“If parents allow their trans kids to receive gender affirming care, the child—the trans child—will be removed from the home and placed in foster care, the parent will be put in prison, and the doctor will be put in prison as well,” he said.

“These laws are absolutely vile. They send a profound signal to LGBTQ children around the country, that that they are either not real, or that they’re … going to be erased. And it’s no surprise that we see the levels of self-harm and suicide, frankly, among LGBTQ youth in this country, when we have powerful politicians and states sending these messages.”

California, he said, can provide refuge for trans kids and their families “if they do not feel safe in the state where they reside.”

Epoch Times Photo
State Sen. Scott Wiener speaks at a California Assembly judiciary committee hearing in Sacramento on June 8, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Assembly)

Wiener said SB 107 will do three things:

“First of all, it makes clear that when a family comes to California, and there is an issue in terms of custody or anything else in their home state, that California is not going to apply the law of the other state. We’re going to apply our own laws, which uplifts and protects and treats with dignity trans kids and their families.”

Secondly, he said California would refuse to honor subpoenas from other states that seek “medical or other records” related to these situations.

And thirdly, it would direct police to “deprioritize” these cases and not enforce out-of-state laws, he said. In the case of extradition, the bill would direct the courts to order extradition only when absolutely required by the U.S. Constitution.

“So, this bill, if enacted into law, will send a very clear message that California stands with our trans kids and their families and the position to provide them with care, and that we are not going to do anything unless we are absolutely mandated by the Constitution to facilitate the destruction of these of these families.”

Constitutional Law

But, according to the inside source, SB 107 violates the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Article IV of the U.S. Constitution demands that all U.S. states must recognize and respect the laws of all other states: “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.”

In other words, California can’t harbor fugitives of the law from other states simply because it declares itself a sanctuary state, said the source.

California legislation that aims to undermine the laws of other states risks disrupting the cohesive relationship that exists between the states and “causing a huge rift in this country,” the source said.

Epoch Times Photo
Kathy Moehlig, founder and executive director of Trans Family Support Services, speaks at a California Assembly judiciary committee hearing in Sacramento on June 8, 2022. (Screenshot via California State Assembly)

Trans Advocacy

Kathy Moehlig, the founder and executive director of San Diego-based Trans Family Support Services, told the committee she works with families that already travel to California for gender-affirming health care.

As a mother who couldn’t find care for her transgender child a decade ago, Moehling claims medical care “is the only treatment for gender dysphoria.”

“Some states have gone as far as to try to criminalize parents for traveling to other states for this care. I know I would have gone anywhere and stopped at nothing to get my child this life-changing and life-saving care,” she said.

Moehling said her nonprofit group has served more than 2,400 trans youth and their families across the country, including a chapter in Alabama which criminalizes trans affirming care for those 19 years old and under.

“The law is devastating to our youth and families,” she said.

Rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, and suicide among trans youth is high, especially for those who don’t have access to appropriate medical care, Moehling said.

Currently, about 56,000 trans youth living in other states that may lose their medical care, she said.

“This bill will bring comfort and confidence to these very vulnerable families to have a safe place to obtain their use medical treatment,” she said.

Molly Robson, legislative Director at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, told the committee Planned Parenthood as well as the Los Angeles LGBT Center and North County LGBTQ Resource Center in Oceanside, Calif., support the bill.

‘Not a Cure’

Friday suggested gender-affirming care is “not a cure” for the high suicide rates among minors who identify as transgender and could instead be part of the problem.

She cited Dr. Laura Edwards-Leeper, a leader in pediatric gender care, who said, “[T]here are no studies that say that if we don’t start these kids immediately on hormones when they say they want them that they are going to commit suicide.”

The long-term effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are largely unknown, Friday told the committee.

According to the Mayo Clinic, puberty blockers may have long-term effects on future fertility, and St. Louis Children’s Hospital has stated that puberty blockers may cause “less development of genital tissue, which may limit options for gender-affirming surgery (bottom surgery) later in life.”

Friday pointed out that SB 107 could create custody disputes in cases where an out-of-state parent could bring a child to California for “gender affirming” care, such as a double mastectomy, puberty blockers or hormone therapy, without the consent of both parents.

“Custody is one of the hardest fought aspects of a divorce, and California cannot just wipe away an out-of-state agreement addressing which parent controls the medical health of a child,” she said.

“There are thousands of parents in our group. We are cheering on the states that are stopping gender medicine on children. Parents in the state of California have lost custody of their children merely by calling their child by their legal name,” Friday said. “SB 107 must not pass.”

Bill Passes

The committee voted 7-1 to pass the bill to the public safety committee, moving it further along in the legislative process. Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) cast the dissenting vote. Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-San Clemente) and Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-Paso Robles) did not vote.

Friday told The Epoch Times after the hearing that evasive gut-and-amend tactics allegedly used to prevent the bill from going to health committees is unacceptable.

“This is a bill dealing with medical issues, and they’re just bypassing them,” she said.

SB 107 would encourage kids to run away and force California courts to take jurisdiction of the child, “and they could just they could decide custody of the child that may not involve the actual parents,” she said.

“This is not protecting children. It is harming minors,” she said.

Brad Jones
Brad Jones is an award-winning journalist based in Southern California.