California Courts May Weigh Affirmation of a Child’s Gender Identity in Custody Cases

Recently, under a bill that cleared the state Senate, California would need its judges to consider if a parent affirms a child’s gender identity for the purpose of custody and visitation.

In this discussion, the vote was split in party lines wherein the Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener referred to the bill as a proactive measure and explained that it would protect LGBTQ and children whose parents are going through a divorce.

Read on to delve into the key features and implications of the bill, certain restrictions imposed on holding assault weapons like guns, decriminalization of plant-based psychedelic substances, and more. You can even consult for legal counseling with a Santa Rosa child custody attorney.

In line with the introduction of the bill, it was put forth that, among various other factors, California would make gender affirmation mandatory, including whether the parent was abusive and the extent of contact between the child and the parent. If the state assembly agrees to the bill’s amendments, it needs to be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to turn into a law.

According to Lori Wilson, a Democrat who introduced the bill, gender affirmation could comprise children playing with toys that are associated with their gender identity, getting their nails painted, or having hair of length that they feel comfortable with. However, it does not lay out requirements for specific gender-affirmation surgeries, which, anyway, the children in California cannot undergo without their parent’s permission.

Alexis Sanchez, an advocate with the Sacramento LGBT Community Center said, “A child whose parents are going through a divorce is going through probably one of the worst and most challenging experiences of their life (up) to that point. The bill could lead to better outcomes for those children in the future.”

This is one of the primary bills legislators introduced this year to protect LGBTQ and children. The state Senate approved the legislation to keep a document concerning gender change petitions for those under 18 away from public records. If you are interested in knowing more in-depth, consult a Santa Rosa child custody attorney.

Before the close of the year, California state has around a couple of weeks to vote on hundreds of other bills.

Restrictions on Guns

Another key aspect of the issue on the radar was a resolution from Congress on the U.S. Constitution on how people may buy guns. In line with this, Newsom is stressing the 28th amendment to the constitution that would need background checks, ban weapons of attack, including guns for those under 21, and have a waiting period on gun purchases.

In order to gain victory in this initiative, 33 states would have to pass the resolution requesting Congress for a constitutional amendment. It is expected that California might be the first in this regard. Once the state Senate passes the resolution, it goes to the Assembly.

Different people expressed different viewpoints. Democratic state Sen. Aisha Wahab, who said her father was murdered by gun violence, said, “We must go further than thoughts and prayers.” On the other hand, Wiener, the San Francisco democrat, voted against it, stating that he is concerned that a constitutional amendment in this direction could result in several other unpredictable changes to the Constitution that may be beyond the gun policy.

Finally, the resolution that the lawmakers approved focuses on a “limited constitutional convention” that prevents Congress from considering any constitutional amendments except those related to gun sales. To this, state Sen. Shannon Grove, a Republican from Bakersfield, opined that not all states may agree to this.

“This could open up a pandora’s box on the Constitution,” she said.

Decriminalizing Psychedelics

Next to Oregon and Colorado, California may decriminalize the use of magic mushrooms or plant-based psychedelics for adults over 21, according to the State Assembly’s legislation. While California would not legally permit the sale of psychedelics, some veterans who support the proposal say that these drugs could be useful in treating conditions of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Republican Assemblymember Bill Essayli said, “While pharmaceuticals certainly have a benefit to some people, it’s not having a benefit on all society. “If there’s scientific data, which there is, to suggest that these could be promising therapeutics, I think people deserve an opportunity to seek those.”

The bill requires recommendations from the state’s health agency on safely using psychedelic substances.


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