Calif. Parents Introduce Ballot Initiatives to Protect Children
Parents in the Golden State are using ballot boxes to take a stand against state-imposed gender ideology. The Protect Kids California coalition launched three ballot initiatives Monday, designed to tackle gender ideology in the classroom, on the sports field, and in the doctor’s office.
The three initiatives require teachers and school staff to notify parents when students begin or attempt a social gender transition by using a different name or pronouns, banning biological boys from competing in girls’ sports or using girls’ locker rooms or bathrooms, and barring minors from accessing hormone drugs, puberty blockers, or gender transition surgeries, such as mastectomies or genital mutilation surgeries.
“It is great to see these California parents going straight to the voting public,” Meg Kilgannon, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Education Studies, told The Washington Stand. “They have tried to address this at the school level, then at the school board level, then at the state level. Each and every time they are thwarted or ignored by those in power who are willing to keep secrets from parents as they cater to all things LGBTQ+.”
She added, “Let’s pray for an army of parents and others to help collect the signatures necessary to get this on the ballot. Common sense protections for parents’ rights and children’s futures may have a chance with California voters.” Research presented by Protect Kids California seems to bear this out. According to the group’s website, 68% of California voters support schools notifying parents when children socially transition at school, including 65% of Democrat voters. In addition, 64% of California voters agree student athletes should only play on sports teams matching their biological sexes, and a whopping 75% of California voters agree minors should be barred from accessing puberty blockers, hormone drugs, and gender transition surgeries, including 67% of Democrats.
The “School Transparency and Partnership Act” clarifies that teachers are meant to partner with parents in educating children. The initiative states, “In order for parents or legal guardians to make the best decisions possible with respect to their children, schools must keep parents fully informed about all matters that are important to a parent and the wellbeing of a student, including the child’s mental health and social and psychological development.”
The “Protect Girls’ Sports and Spaces Act” states, “There is an increasing number of occurrences of male athletes, based on their perceived gender identity, competing against female athletes. These occurrences have led to lost opportunities, violations of privacy, and injuries for female athletes.” The initiative further explains, “Female students should have fair and safe opportunities to compete in athletic programs. … There are physical differences between the sexes, giving male athletes a physical, competitive advantage against female athletes.”
The ”Protect Children from Reproductive Harm Act” declares, “It is in the interest of the people of California to protect the reproductive, sexual health and bodily integrity of children as they grow into adults, including their natural ability to function sexually, reproduce, and breastfeed.” The initiative further explains:
“Gender dysphoria and other gender-related mental health disorders resolve in the vast majority of children when children are allowed to go through uninterrupted puberty and reach maturity. … Many of the medical interventions offered to minors utilize pharmaceuticals, hormones or surgical procedures which are not approved for treating gender dysphoria or gender identity disorders for children. There are no long-term studies demonstrating the efficacy and safety of gender-related medical interventions on children.”
The text of each of the ballot initiatives also requires both the governor and attorney general of California to enforce and protect the laws and bars the state legislature from amending, revoking, or revising the measures without a seven eighths majority in each chamber.
The introduction of these ballot initiatives comes as California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) is suing the Chino Valley Unified School District for requiring teachers to notify parents of students’ social gender transitions. Bonta alleged the requirement is a civil rights violation that “threatens the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ students vulnerable to harassment and potential abuse from peers and family members unaccepting of their gender identity.”
Both the lawsuit and the introduction of the ballot initiatives follow a protest late last month outside the state capitol in Sacramento, where parents gathered to oppose state legislature initiatives to diminish parental rights. Some of those measures would allow children as young as 12 years old to check themselves into gender transition facilities without parental approval, permit courts to take children who identify as LGBT away from parents who don’t “affirm” that lifestyle, and prevent school boards from banning pornographic or explicitly LGBT material from classrooms and school libraries.
Protect Kids California is a coalition formed by the non-profit Students First California, which was founded last year. Protect Kids California will begin collecting signatures in November to ensure the initiatives appear on the 2024 general election ballots. Each initiative needs 546,651 signatures to appear on the ballot.
S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.