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.
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.
Gut-and-Amend BillThe 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.
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.
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?”
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.
Out-of-State LawsSen. 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.”
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.
Constitutional LawBut, 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.
Trans AdvocacyKathie Moehlig, the founder and executive director of San Diego-based TransFamily 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.
‘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.
The long-term effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are largely unknown, Friday told the committee.
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.
Bill PassesThe 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.