Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles on Sept. 10, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)
All courts in California will now be required to keep sex or gender changes by minors confidential thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom Sept. 23.
According to Assembly Bill 223, only the minor who petitions to change their sex or gender on government documents can access such court information, along with their parents or guardians, and their attorneys.
The bill also states that in order for a minor to change their gender and sex identifier to male, female, or nonbinary, the court will recognize such changes if the child submits a simple affidavit stating their new sex and gender. The court will then be required to issue the child new documents, including a birth certificate, to reflect such changes.
Other individuals, such as teachers or other members of the public, would not have access to such court documents, though many court case documents are normally largely accessible to the public.
Introduced in January by Assemblyman Chris Ward (D-Coronado), the bill is aimed at protecting the privacy of transgender youth to prevent them from being publicly “outed,” which the bill says would place their lives at risk.
“Being outed is a traumatic event for any individual, especially for individuals under 18 years of age,” the bill states. “Allowing our children to choose when and how they decide to share their personal details is vital in protecting their mental and physical health.”
The bill passed in the Assembly on a vote of 64–8, with 8 abstentions, and 32–6 in the Senate, with 2 abstentions.
The bill was sponsored by TransFamily Support Services, a San Diego-based nonprofit aimed at “guiding transgender and nonbinary youth and their families through the gender transitioning process, to help make it the most positive experience possible,” according to the group’s mission statement, as well as TransYouth Liberation, a group aimed at passing pro-transgender legislation aimed at children.
The California State Capitol building in Sacramento on April 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Other supporters included the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the California Federation of Teachers.
The latter group said it “believes in … eliminating sex, perceived sex, gender, gender identity and/or gender expression discrimination in educational programs, activities, and facilities,” the group wrote in their statement of support in the bill’s senate analysis.
Those opposed to the bill included the City of Huntington Beach and various nonprofit organizations.
“The Supermajority in our Legislature is on a relentless crusade to break up the family unit by granting unprecedented power to children and the adults who cater to their whims,” Our Duty,
a group aimed at helping parents who wish to shield their children from gender ideology, wrote in their statement of opposition.