The new laws include legislation focusing on support for LGBTQ+ youth. One law sets timelines for required cultural competency training for public school teachers and staff, while another creates an advisory task force to identify the needs of LGBTQ+ students and can help improve support initiatives. The third requires families to demonstrate that they are able and willing to meet the needs of a child in foster care regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“California is proud to have some of the strongest laws in the country when it comes to protecting and supporting our LGBTQ+ community, and we are committed to the ongoing work to create safer, more inclusive spaces for all Californians,” Newsom said in a statement. “These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities.”
The governor also signed legislation requiring schools serving first through 12th grades to have at least one gender-neutral bathroom available to students by 2026.
The law was inspired by a Southern California school district that instituted a policy that requires schools to tell parents if their children change their pronouns or use a bathroom of a different gender. as listed in their official documents. A judge halted the policy after California Attorney General Rob Bonta sued the Chino Valley Unified School District. The lawsuit is ongoing.
The governor’s bill signings came after Newsom vetoed a bill Friday that would have required judges to consider whether a parent has verified their child’s identity when making custody and visitation decisions.
Assembly member Lori Wilson, a Democrat who introduced the bill and has an adult son who came out as transgender when he was a teenager, was among the LGBTQ+ advocates who criticized the governor’s decision.
“I’ve been discouraged over the past few years as I’ve watched the rising hate and heard the vitriol towards the trans community. My intention with this bill is to give them a voice, especially in the family court system where a non-custodial parent can have a detrimental effect on a child’s mental health and well-being,” Wilson said in a statement.
Newsom said existing laws already require courts to consider the health, safety and welfare of a child in determining a child’s best interests in custody cases, including parental confirmation of the child’s identity. .
The veto comes amid intense political battles across the country over transgender rights, including efforts to impose restrictions on gender-affirming care, ban trans athletes from of women and women’s sports, and schools must inform parents if their children request the use of different pronouns or changes. their gender identity.