California Attorney General Distorts Meaning of ‘Protect Kids’ Initiative

California Attorney General Distorts Meaning of ‘Protect Kids’ Initiative

California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks during a news conference in San Francisco on Nov. 15, 2021. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler

12/22/2023

Updated: 12/22/2023

Commentary
Why is this controversial? Isn’t protecting children the main aim of government? Yet there is massive opposition to the “Protect Kids of California Act of 2024” initiative, which needs 546,651 signatures to qualify for the Nov. 5 ballot. Here’s what it would do, according to the sponsors, Protect Kids California:
  • Requires schools to notify parents regarding children’s mental health concerns identified in school settings, including gender identification issues.
  • Protects girls competitive sports and school spaces to be for biological girls only.
  • Prevents the sterilization of children by prohibiting the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, mastectomies and genital surgeries for minors.
In California, the title and summary read by voters when they decide initiatives is written by the attorney general, currently Rob Bonta. Appointed to the post in 2021, his descriptions for the 2022 initiatives were sensible. They were definitely an improvement on his predecessor, Xavier Becerra, who became President Joe Biden’s secretary of Health and Human Services.
No more. Mr. Bonta, who in May said he is “seriously considering” running for governor himself in 2026, has written the most biased title and summary I’ve ever seen.

Parsing the Title and Summary

I talked to Lance Christensen about the title and summary. Now the vice president of education policy and government affairs at the California Policy Center, last year he finished second in the election to be the state’s superintendent of education. Before that, he served as chief of staff to state Sen. John Moorlach, for whom I was press secretary. Mr. Christensen helped craft the initiative.
“When somebody goes to read the official title and summary, it’s hard to make heads or tails what this actually does,” he said. “It’s a very simple proposition. There are 23 other states that have some prohibition against boys playing girls’ sports. There are a lot of states that have parental notification policies. There are states that restrict the surgery, sterilization, and mutilation of minors.”
Here’s the title Mr. Bonta provided: “Eliminates Students’ Rights to Participate in School Activities Consistent With Their Gender Identity.”
Mr. Christensen: “It doesn’t restrict any rights. Period. They’re minors. We don’t give rights to minors. ... Now, they may have legal protections. That’s why people take kids to court to get them emancipated. Otherwise, they don’t have rights.”
Mr. Bonta’s wording: “Repeals 2013 state law allowing students to participate in school activities and use school facilities consistent with their gender identity. Requires public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities to:
  • prohibit transgender female students in grades 7 and higher from participating in female sports; and
  • restrict use of gender-segregated facilities (e.g., bathrooms, locker rooms) only to persons assigned that gender at birth.
Mr. Christensen: “It’s not that. Rather, it’s any boy who feels like he’s a girl that day can walk into a girl’s shower and be with her. You have an 18-year-old boy and he can go in the bathroom or locker room with a freshman girl who’s 13. Then it says ‘persons assigned that gender at birth.’ Assigned gender at birth? That’s cultural Marxism. They have their body parts that clearly show who they are. Nobody ‘assigns’ them anything.
“It describes ‘transgender female students.’ Explain that to me: Is that a girl that becomes a boy when she becomes a girl? That’s why it’s always nonsense. They’re not a female, but a male. And, in fact, we go to great lengths to define terms in the initiative.”
Chloe Cole, who regrets her transgender procedures as a minor, holds testosterone medication used for gender transitioning in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Chloe Cole, who regrets her transgender procedures as a minor, holds testosterone medication used for gender transitioning in Northern California on Aug. 26, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Potential Costs

Mr. Bonta next wording is about potential costs to the state: “Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Minor administrative and workload costs to schools, colleges, and universities, which could range from no effect to a few millions of dollars initially, depending on whether the measure can be legally implemented.”
Mr. Christensen: “Actually, you can go look at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s website and check out their transgender healthcare policies. It’s a huge amount of money that they’re making. So, there would be savings if there were fewer operations on children.”
I checked. The website advertises: “The Cedars-Sinai Transgender Surgery and Health Program offers individualized care for all patients seeking gender-affirming surgery and transition-related care, including those covered by Medi-Cal and Medicare”—which of course are funded by California taxpayers.
Mr. Christensen: “By not conducting the surgeries, you’re not talking about just millions or a couple of millions. You’re talking about potentially billions of dollars in savings. So that’s one saving that’s a state cost. And those undergoing the procedures have problems their whole lives, too. All kinds of health problems. And there will be eternal pharmaceutical care that a boy has to go through because he wanted to become a girl. And guess who’s now responsible for taking care of them for the rest of our lives? We are. The taxpayers.”
He also mentioned potential lawsuits by those victimized by these Frankenstein doctors. One is Chloe Cole, who is “detransitioning.” The website of the Liberty Center explains: “Chloe Cole is a remarkable young woman whose story has gripped the nation.
“At just 9 years old, Chloe began suffering from gender dysphoria. She first expressed her struggle with gender dysphoria to her pediatrician when she was 12 years old.
“Then, under the advice and supervision of medical professionals, Chloe was coerced into undergoing a ‘gender transition.’ Between the ages of 13 and 16 years old, physicians placed Chloe on puberty blockers, off-label cross-sex hormone treatment, and performed a double mastectomy on her to remove her breasts.
“Doctors told Chloe and her parents that Chloe’s gender dysphoria would never resolve itself. That was a lie. They also told Chloe and her parents that Chloe was at a high risk for suicide unless she socially and medically transitioned. Chloe’s doctors told her parents, ‘would you rather have a dead daughter or a live son?’ That was a lie too.
“But Chloe’s gender dysphoria did resolve itself. And despite an undeniable body of relevant medical literature, Chloe’s doctors never once informed her of the possibly—the high likelihood—that her gender dysphoria would resolve itself, without cross-sex treatment, by the time she reached adulthood. Chloe’s doctors never once informed her or her parents of non-invasive psychological or psychiatric counseling options.
“Instead, her doctors concealed treatment options from her and fraudulently informed her that the only way to resolve her gender dysphoria was to undergo a physical, chemical, and social transition to a male role.
“And the result of their concealment—their fraud—is a lifetime of irreversible physical and psychological damage to Chloe.
“Today, Chloe is fighting back and seeking justice—justice for herself and for other kids who struggle with gender dysphoria and are being coerced into irreversible medical ‘care.’ Chloe’s lawsuit seeks to hold her doctors responsible for the bodily mutilation she has suffered.”
What a nightmare. The only response is mixed sadness and outrage for what those monsters did to Chloe.

Colleges and Title IX

Mr. Bonta’s wording continued: “If legally implemented, there could be potential, but unknown, cost pressures related to federal fiscal penalties if the measure results in schools, colleges, or universities being deemed out of compliance with federal law.”
Mr. Christensen: “Well, federal law doesn’t say anything about this except that we have Title IX. Do people forget about Title IX?”
According to President Biden’s Justice Department’s “Title IX Legal Manual”: “In June 1972, President Nixon signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 into law. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that has removed many barriers that once prevented people, on the basis of sex, from participating in educational opportunities and careers of their choice. It states that:
“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, in be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Letting boys saying they’re girls participate in girls’ sports obviously destroys the “benefits” of those sports for real girls, who will be excluded.

Conclusion: This Will Be a Massive Controversy in 2024

In many ways, 2024 is looking to be one of the most consequential in decades. These “gender” issues will play a big part.
Mr. Biden, Mr. Newsom, and Mr. Bonta are embracing the issue strongly. Yet a Rasmussen poll in May showed 75 percent of California voters agree minors should not undergo irreversible transgender surgeries. Democrats were at 55 percent and Republicans 88 percent, with Independents at 76 percent. There’s bipartisan support.
Also, 69 percent of California voters agree children should not “receive medication to alter their hormones, that are accompanied by the risk of long-term sterilization.”
Americans of all types are rejecting Marxist “gender” ideology. Only some politicians and activists are embracing it. If this initiative passes in ultra-liberal California, it will send shockwaves throughout the country, indeed the world.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
John Seiler

John Seiler

Author

John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.