Washington Kids Could Hide From Parents Under New Bill
Republicans are rejecting a measure in Olympia that could help your child disappear by simply claiming they’re seeking gender counseling or puberty-blocking chemicals under a bill passed in the state Senate. The Democrats’ legislation would allow teens to stay at certain youth facilities without their parents’ knowledge.
REPUBLICANS ARE AGAINST THE BILL AND HOPE IT DIES
All Senate Republicans voted against the measure. Senate Republican Leader John Braun says if the House and Governor also approve the bill, kids would be able stay in the facilities for an indefinite amount of time. Parents from the LGBTQ community were among more than 45-hundred people to oppose the bill during a Senate committee hearing.
THE BILL WOULDN'T ALLOW SURGERY WITH PARENTS KNOWLEDGE
The legislation, passed on a party-line vote, "would not allow teens staying at licensed youth shelters or host homes to undergo “gender-affirming” surgery without parental approval. Nor would it allow other parents to hide children. But it does clear the way for children between ages 13 and 18 to stay at these facilities without their parents’ knowledge for an indefinite time while seeking services related to gender dysphoria and gender transitioning."
THE BILL SPONSOR WANTS SAFE SPACES FOR KIDS
“The sponsors of Senate Bill 5599 have said on the record that they want safe spaces where children have the freedom to express their true selves and that Washington must clear a path to ensure success for every child. Braun says "I agree. Like so many other health-related situations, gender dysphoria presents unique needs that deserve attention. But this should not mean removing parents from the decision-making process."
He says if the bill becomes law it would "disenfranchise loving parents who deserve to have a say in the care of their teenage children. Children between the ages of 13 and 18 can already access these same health- and mental-health services under Washington law, without their parents’ permission."
THE BILL IS NOW BEING CONSIDERED IN THE HOUSE
SB 5599 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. Members of the public who wish to testify on the bill, should it receive a hearing in the House, should visit how to testify on a bill on the Washington State Legislature’s website.
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