Gavin Newsom signs California LGBTQ laws after angering advocates with transgender bill veto

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during the weekend seemed to strategically sign a package of pro-LGBTQ legislation a day after outraging advocates and lawmakers from that community.

Newsom on Friday vetoed Assembly Bill 957 from Assemblywoman Lori Wilson, D-Suisun City, which would have directed judges to consider parents’ acceptance of children’s gender identities in custody disputes.

The governor explained his decision with concern about lawmakers creating legal standards “in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic.”

“Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities,” Newsom wrote.

But LGBTQ lawmakers were upset by the decision, with Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, calling it “a tragedy for trans kids here and around the country.”

The California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus said in a statement the veto was a “missed opportunity to remind the nation that California is a safe haven for transgender and nonbinary children.”

Newsom on Saturday night then signed a package of bills focused on supporting the LGTBQ community. The governor said in a statement he is “committed to the ongoing work to create safer, more inclusive spaces for all Californians.”

“These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities,” Newsom said.

The following bills were part of the package the governor signed on Saturday:

  • Assembly Bill 5, which sets deadlines for school teachers and staff to undergo LGBTQ cultural competency training.
  • Assembly Bill 223, which makes minors’ court petitions to change their sex and gender identifiers confidential.
  • Senate Bill 760, which requires public schools to have at least one all-gender restroom.
  • Senate Bill 857, which requires the state to convene a task force to identify the needs of LGBTQ students and implement supportive policies.

Newsom isn’t shy in sharing what he thinks of federal Judge Roger Benitez, the Southern California-based President George W. Bush appointee known for his fiery legal opinions in favor of the Second Amendment.

The governor has called Benitez “a stone cold ideologue” who is “a wholly owned subsidiary of the gun lobby and the National Rifle Association.” So when Benitez ruled Friday — for the second time — that California’s ban on ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds is unconstitutional, Newsom was quick to issue a statement noting the timing of the decision.

“Unsurprisingly, Judge Benitez chose to issue this radical decision on the same day President Biden announced his new Office of Gun Violence Prevention. As a reminder, this is the same judge who used Gun Violence Awareness Day to strike down California’s assault weapons ban — comparing the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife,” Newsom said in the statement. “Judge Benitez is not even pretending anymore.

This is politics, pure and simple.” Newsom then pivoted toward advocating for his proposed amendment to enshrine gun control measures in the U.S. Constitution.

“It doesn’t matter what laws we pass. It doesn’t matter what the voters decide. Concealed carry. Banning weapons of war. Reasonable waiting periods. Background checks. The ideologues are coming for all of them,” Newsom said.


“Clarence Thomas should have resigned the moment Anita Hill testified. That was true then, and it’s true now. He has proven — over and over again — that he is unfit to serve on our highest court. Thomas must step down. And Congress must institute a code of ethics for SCOTUS. Now.” — Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, discussing ProPublica’s revelation that Justice Clarence Thomas secretly participated in Koch network donor events, via Threads.

Best of The Bee:

A federal judge with a penchant for fiery rulings and strong leanings toward the Second Amendment issued an injunction Friday on California’s ban on ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds, the latest ruling in the now 6-year-old legal challenge, via Andrew Sheeler.

Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho this week filed a high-profile civil lawsuit against the city of Sacramento regarding homeless camps, but it’s unclear when a judge will actually make a ruling, via Theresa Clift.

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee

Newsom Vetoes Controversial Gender-Identity Bill in California

Deviating from his past legislative support of transgender youth in California, Democratic governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have required parents to demonstrate affirmation of their child’s gender identity in custody court battles.

Under California Bill AB957, judges would have been legally obligated to specifically consider whether parents have affirmed their child’s gender identity or gender expression in determining “the health, safety, and welfare of the child.” The California State Assembly passed the bill along strictly party lines earlier this month, hoping to advance transgender rights in the state.

Newsom said in a statement late Friday night he appreciates “the passion and values” of Democratic assembly member Lori Wilson for authoring the bill but disclosed he couldn’t sign it.

“I share a deep commitment to advancing the rights of transgender Californians, an effort that has guided my decisions through many decades in public office,” Newsom wrote.

“That said, I urge caution when the Executive and Legislative branches of state government attempt to dictate – in prescriptive terms that single out one characteristic – legal standards for the Judicial branch to apply,” he added. “Other-minded elected officials, in California and other states, could very well use this strategy to diminish the civil rights of vulnerable communities.”

Nonetheless, the California governor noted judges are still “required to consider a child’s health, safety, and welfare” in the context of their gender identity when hearing out parents in child custody cases, even if the bill wasn’t signed.

“Moreover, a court, under existing law, is required to consider a child’s health,
safety, and welfare when determining the best interests of a child in these
proceedings, including the parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity,” he concluded.

Following the governor’s veto, Wilson expressed her disappointment with the decision.

“I am extremely disappointed. I know the Governor’s record. He’s been a champion for the LGBTQ+ community for years and even before it was popular to do so,” Wilson said in a statement. “However, on this point, the Governor and I disagree on the best way to protect [Transgender, Gender-Diverse and Intersex] kids.”

She added her bill was intended “to give [the trans community] a voice, particularly in the family court system where a non-affirming parent could have a detrimental impact on the mental health and well-being of a child.”

Democratic state senator Scott Wiener, who co-authored the bill, also called out Newsom for rejecting it.

“This veto is a tragedy for trans kids here & around the country,” Wiener posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “These kids are living in fear, with right wing politicians working to out them, deny them health care, ban them from sports & restrooms & erase their humanity. CA needs to unequivocally stand with these kids.”

“Governor Newsom has been such a staunch ally to the LGBTQ community. A true champion. Respectfully, however, this veto is a mistake,” he continued.

Click here to read the full article in the National Review

Transgender Rights Activists Protest Women’s Liberation Group Convention in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — There was a heated protest Saturday in San Francisco where opinions clashed over the issue of Transgender rights.

At the demonstration, outside a hotel where a women’s rights group is holding its convention, protesters say the organization is anti-Trans rights.

“What do we want? Trans justice. When do we want it? Now,” protesters chanted.

A group of demonstrators protested outside the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco’s Financial District, where Women’s Declaration International USA is holding its convention. “WDI” says it’s focused on reigniting the Women’s Liberation Movement, but critics say that’s misleading.

MORE: Chaos at Sunol Glen school board meeting as district votes to ban pride flags

“Their group is what we call ‘TERFs,’ Trans-exclusionary radical feminists,” said Nancy Kato from Reproductive Justice Coalition.

Activist Kato says she believes WDI’s mission is anti-Trans.

“Their basic premise is patriarchy and men are the enemy and therefore focused on Trans women, to say they are not real women,” Kato.

“I’m so happy to see so many people standing in solidarity with the Trans community,” said Honey Mahogany.

MORE: Judge issues temporary restraining order over Chino school board policy on transgender notification

Honey Mahogany, chair of San Francisco’s Democatic Party says WDI is contributing to the spread of misinformation.

“Ultimately, what I’m here to fight today is the misinformation about my community. We are people who have always existed, always been a part of society,” Mahogany said.

Police intervened when several counter protesters attending the women’s conference showed up, including Corrina D’Annible.

“What specific rights are Trans-identified individuals asking for that they don’t already have to begin with? So if we’re talking about the right for males to invade women’s spaces, like I said, the history of male violence is long and storied,” D’Annible said.

MORE: ‘Experience Queer Joy’: SF Pride Parade showcases unity, inclusion and visibility

WDI conference organizers declined an on-camera interview but told us in a statement they do not support counter protesters.

The WDI’S statement went on to say: “We are enjoying our discussions about the rights, privacy and safety of women and girls, including reproductive liberty and the rights of lesbian and bisexual women.”

Protesters called out the Hilton for hosting the conference.

In response, Hotel management told ABC7 News, “As a place of hospitality, the Hilton San Francisco Financial District Hotel strives to serve as a welcoming place for all and does not adopt or endorse the views of any individuals or groups we serve.”

WDI says it’s planning its own rally Monday at San Francisco City Hall. Protesters say they’ll be there.

“San Francisco and the Bay Area, there’s a lot of people who believe the need to build inclusive movements, not exclusive ones,” Kato said.

Click here to read the full article at ABC 7 News

Temecula Board OKs Policy Banning Pride Flags From Schools

Only U.S., California flags allowed unless a banner is used “solely for educational purposes”

The Temecula school board approved a policy to limit which flags can be flown on school property, a rule that some said is a way to ban pride flags, at its Tuesday night, Sept. 12, meeting.

similar policy was adopted by the Chino Valley Unified School District board in June.

The item passed 3-2, with the board’s conservative majority in favor and trustees Allison Barclay and Steven Schwartz voting no.

Tuesday’s Temecula Valley Unified School District board meeting drew a crowd similar in size to the one several weeks ago, when the board adopted a policy to inform parents if their child is transgender.

The proposal, which was adopted with some small language changes, contains two alterations to the district’s flag protocols.

The first is an addition to Pledge of Allegiance guidelines, which states that students not reciting the pledge “shall maintain a respectful silence.”

The second reads: “No flag other than the United States of America and State of California may be displayed on school grounds, including classrooms, unless it is a country, state, or United States military flag used solely for educational purposes within the adopted curriculum.”

Other flags would need the superintendent’s approval.

The document does not specify which flags are barred.

“It is not the intent of the Board of Education to deprive any person of his or her right to freedom of expression,” the agenda item states. “The intent of this regulation is to maintain a safe and orderly workplace for teachers, students, administrators, staff, parents/guardians and other members of the community.”

More than 100 people waited outside before the meeting’s open session. Some had American flags on their clothing. A few wore Donald Trump merchandise. Others sported pride flags.

Jennifer San Nicolas, a Temecula resident with two teenagers in Temecula Valley schools, said she’s concerned about board decisions she said remove diversity, equity and inclusion programs and cited December’s critical race theory ban — approved at the first meeting of the board’s conservative Christian bloc elected by voters — as an example.

“It’s just unreal, they way that they are chipping away at the humanity of kids of color, kids on the LGBTQ spectrum, anyone who isn’t their White evangelical, in their church — they other them.”

Murrieta resident Jen Reeves called the flag policy “worrisome.”

“I feel like it removes self-expression, and any sort of ability for teachers to say, ‘Hey, you’re welcome here, and we do support you, and we love you, and we want you here’,” Reeves said.

She said she believes the Temecula school board is following the agenda of other boards that have passed similar policies.

Ryan Waroff, who lives in the school district, said he supports the proposed flag policy.

Any flag can create a sense of division, Waroff said, “and I think that’s a problem we have in this country right now.”

In response to concerns about a ban on pride flags obscuring people’s identities, he said, “if you walk into a place and it takes a flag for you to feel comfortable about yourself, then we have a bigger problem than that.”

Waroff said people should be able to express their identities in any way they feel necessary, and maybe at one point, such flags were a good idea, but they’ve become politicized.

“And it is both sides,” he said. “It is a Trump flag. It is a pride flag. It is a BLM flag.”

“This isn’t anti-LGBTQ, this isn’t anti-trans,” he said. “We live in America, and in America, we’re allowed to be whatever we want, but let’s unite under the one unifying goal, that’s ‘We’re all Americans.’ I would like to see us come back to that.”

Daniel Molina spoke in favor of the policy, saying that “there is no pride flag” without also standing for the American flag.

Josh Schierling asked: “How delicate is your sense of democracy that it’s threatened by a pride flag?”

Schierling said everyone should be allowed to coexist, and that “taking down a pride flag is telling people they’re not wanted. How un-American is that?”

Board members discussed reasons for the policy, and potential pitfalls, including the definition of the word “flag.”

Danny Gonzalez said he thought the administration needed more time to work on the policy, and saw it “being potentially problematic” if not done the right way.

Schwartz said the “good intentions” behind the policy would open the district up to problems. He read aloud concerns of people who wrote to him, including that the policy “is an attempt to censor LGBTQ support” and that, according to the policy, flags for entities like colleges wouldn’t be allowed.

Barclay agreed that “a lot of things aren’t clear.”

She said that, if there’s a certain flag in question, “let’s just say it.”

Barclay said such policies make people nervous.

“They don’t want to break the rules, but they don’t understand the rules,” she said.

Board President Joseph Komrosky said that a school visit during which there were “at least 10 classrooms” that had no American flags showed him that the district needed the regulation. He  said he wants to “instruct the superintendent to add U.S. flags to every single classroom.”

Regarding flags for colleges and school sports teams, board members discussed whether they counted as “educational,” and whether, according to the policy, the superintendent would need to approve each one. Komrosky said that would be the case.

The meeting featured outbursts, applause and other interruptions from audience members. At least one person was removed, and some reacted to comments by holding up red, yellow and green cards, which Komrosky has done at previous meetings to convey warnings to audience members. At different points, both Schwartz and Komrosky asked for spectators’ cooperation.

“This would go a lot easier with no audience in here,” Komrosky said.

Other politically charged topics have been reviewed by the Temecula Valley school board in the past year.

After December’s critical race theory ban, a social studies curriculum was rejected by the board after some members cited its mention of slain gay-rights activist Harvey Milk in supplemental materials. After pushback from Gov. Gavin Newsom and others, the curriculum was approved in July — except for the unit mentioning Milk.

Last month, the board approved the transgender notification policy that some opposed because they felt it puts transgender students at risk by outing them. Such a policy also was previously approved by the Chino Valley school board.

Click here to read the full article in the Press Enterprise

California Judge Halts District Policy Requiring Parents Be Told If Kids Change Pronouns

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday halted a Southern California school district from requiring parents to be notified if their children change their gender identification or pronouns at school.

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Garza ruled after California Attorney General Rob Bonta sued the Chino Valley Unified School District for adopting a policy requiring schools to tell parents when their children change their pronouns or use a bathroom of a gender other than the one listed on their official paperwork.

“Today’s decision by the San Bernardino Superior Court rightfully upholds the state rights of our LGBTQ+ students and protects kids from harm by immediately halting the board’s forced outing policy,” Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a statement.

Garza’s order halts the district’s policy while Bonta’s lawsuit continues. During a court hearing Wednesday, Garza raised questions about why the policy came up in the first place and how it protected students.

Full details of the order were not immediately available. The next court hearing on the issue was scheduled for Oct. 13.

Sonja Shaw, president of the Chino Valley Unified board of education, said she was disappointed by the ruling but hopes the case will bring attention to the issue. She said she and other parents feel state officials are limiting their ability to be involved in their children’s education on issues ranging from gender identification to curriculum.

“I don’t understand why they are so gung ho on this issue, but everything else we have to inform the parents about,” Shaw said. “There is obviously an issue and parents are concerned.”

Chino Valley Unified, which serves 27,000 students about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, is one of several that requires parents to be informed if their children are transgender. The district passed the policy this summer, saying it supported the rights of parents to be involved in their children’s care and education.

Two nearby districts have done the same, while at least two others in the state are bringing up similar measures this week.

Bonta argues the policy will forcibly out transgender students in violation of their privacy rights and threaten their well-being. Chino Valley contends the policy seeks to involve parents so they can provide support their children need.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Delbert Tran, a deputy attorney general for California, said students were already being affected by the policy and feared being themselves at school, and that risking the safety of one transgender student would be too many. “This policy needs to be addressed now,” Tran told the court.

Anthony De Marco, an attorney for Chino Valley Unified, argued the policy would not affect students who were holding private conversations with teachers, but would involve parents in situations where students were making more public decisions such as changing their name or pronouns or using bathrooms or joining sports teams of a gender other than the one on their official paperwork. “We need those parents to be part of a successful transition,” De Marco said.

He also questioned whether elementary school students as young as 4 and 5 years old should be treated the same as high school teens involved in confidential counseling.

Earlier this year, the Spreckels Union School District in Monterey County settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of a mother who accused the school of “social transitioning” her then-11-year-old child in 2019 by allowing the student to use male pronouns and bathrooms at school without her consent. The child later re-identified as a girl, her mother has said. The district agreed to pay $100,000 but didn’t acknowledge wrongdoing, according to the Center for American Liberty, which represented the mother.

The national conversation over transgender rights has intensified as other states have sought to impose bans on gender-affirming carebar transgender athletes from girls and women’s sports, and require schools to “out” transgender and nonbinary students to their parents.

On Wednesday, the California State Assembly voted to declare every August as Transgender History Month, the first such declaration in the nation.

“The move comes as over 500 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state Legislatures across the country” with most targeting “human and civil rights” of transgender people, an Assembly press announcement said.

In California, parental notification policies cropped up after Republican state lawmaker Bill Essayli proposed a statewide bill on the issue, but it never received a hearing in Sacramento. He then worked with school board members and the California Family Council to draft the policy that was voted on in Chino Valley.

Essayli said he hopes other school districts evaluating similar proposals will not be discouraged by the judge’s decision.

Click here to read the full article at AP News

Capitol Rally: Parental Rights Don’t End at California’s Classroom Doors

Three statewide ballot initiatives have been filed to secure parental rights, save girls’ sports, and protect children from sexual mutilation

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a lawsuit Monday to immediately stop the Chino Valley Unified School District from “outing” transgender students to their parents. What is Bonta’s justification? He claims the policy “violates the California Constitution and state laws safeguarding civil rights, and has already caused and is threatening to cause LGBTQ+ students with further mental, emotional, psychological and potential physical harm.”

Bonta’s lawsuit is just the latest dubious attempt by California state officials to run roughshod over parental rights, as well as rejecting parents’ concerns for the health and welfare of their own children. Here is his video announcement – be sure to watch the entire press conference. It is noteworthy that Bonta prioritizes children’s desire “to be yourself, be who you are,” and “as their authentic selves,” over their adult parents’s concerns and authority.

If this was law when I was a kid, would my tomboy phase have teachers and school authorities whisk me away, unbeknownst to my parents, for counseling sessions convincing me that I really was a boy inside? I didn’t question my gender at age 11 – I just played a lot of sports and got into fights – something I grew out of fairly quickly.

Earlier this month, the Globe reported that AG Bonta opened an investigation into the Chino Valley Unified School District, which authorized notification to parents if a child starts to identify as a different gender. Bonta claims he “has a substantial interest in protecting the legal rights, physical safety, and mental health of children in California schools.”

There are California school districts which have secretly transitioned students without notifying their parents. With more and more cases of these secret transitioning cases, Assemblymen Bill Essayli (R-Corona) and James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) authored AB 1314 to legally solidify that a parent or guardian has the right to be notified in writing within 3 days from the date any teacher, counselor, or employee of the school becomes aware that a pupil is identifying at school as a gender that does not align with the child’s sex on their birth certificate. AB 1314 would have reaffirmed parental rights, but Democrats in the California Legislature killed the bill in the Assembly Education Committee by denying even a hearing on the proposed legislation. Specifically, Committee Chairman Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) refused to allow the bill to be heard.

This is now standard operating procedure in California under the Democrat Supermajority – policy bills and political ideology they oppose is denied the Legislative Committee process. And then they bring out the hammer – the Attorney General – to insure their policies are followed, even if these policies harm children and destroy families.

Many California elected School Boards have argued that parents have the right to know, and passed policies supporting parental rights. just announced today at a Capitol rally that three ballot initiatives have been filed with the  Attorney General to:

  • Stop schools from keeping secrets from patents
  • Protect girls’ sports and spaces
  • Protect kids from sterilization and mutilation

Assemblyman Essayli spoke at the rally. “Who gets to raise the next generation of kids,” he asked. He added that government has no right to withhold the information that a child was struggling with gender dysphoria, from parents. He also noted that the overwhelming majority of kids do not go through with hormone sterilization or mutilating surgeries as they enter adulthood.

Chloe Cole, a 19-year-old “former trans kid” who testified in front of Congress last October about her horrid trans journey, “de-transitioned after undergoing years of puberty blockers and an irreversible double mastectomy at the age of 15,” Catholic News Agency reported. “Cole was just 11 years old when she was first exposed to gender ideology through online platforms.”

Cole told the crowd at Monday’s rally that doctors experimented on her, performing a mastectomy to remove her breasts. She also said Gavin Newsom laughed at the loss of her breasts. “It hurts.”  Cole said the sexual transitioning of children needs to stop. “You don’t want your sons and daughters to end up like me,” Cole said. “I have to wear bandages on my chest so the skin grafting of my nipples don’t leak fluid and blood onto my clothes.”

Click here to read the full article at California Globe

California Expands Travel Ban to More Anti-LGBT States — Even As Top Democrat Tries To End It

California has now officially banned state-funded travel to more than half of the country — even as a top Democratic leader is trying to put an end to the prohibition.

Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday that California was adding Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming to the list of states where official travel is banned, bringing to the total to 26. Bonta said the additions were a result of recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the three states.

“These new laws enacted by Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming aren’t just discriminatory, they constitute a clear case of government overreach,” Bonta said in a statement. “It’s an alarming trend we’re witnessing across the country.”

State leaders added Missouri and Wyoming because of new laws that prohibit transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports. Nebraska made the list because of the “Let Them Grow Act,” which would bar health care providers from providing gender-affirming care to anyone under the age of 19.

Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom was criticized for taking a family trip to Montana — another state on the list — to visit First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s parents.

The travel ban additions come at a peculiar time, as a bill to repeal the ban is making its way through the Legislature. Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, authored Senate Bill 447 to lift the state restrictions.

Atkins, who identifies as a lesbian, argues the ban is well-intentioned but has resulted in unintended consequences. Her bill would end the travel ban and create a program for inclusive LGBT messaging in other states.

Atkins has recounted her own struggle to find acceptance and tolerance while growing up in rural southwestern Virginia. She believes banning California travel to discriminatory states further isolates LGBT community members living there.

On Friday, she posted on Twitter about the expanded ban and lobbied for her bill, which is currently awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

“We need a new approach,” Atkins said. “My #SB447 would create the BRIDGE Project to open hearts and minds.”

Click here to read the full article in the Sacramento Bee via Yahoo News!

WATCH: Fights Outside California School Board Meeting over LGBT Curriculum

LOS ANGELES, California — Fights broke out Tuesday between a group of conservative protesters and left-wing counter-demonstrators outside a school board meeting in Glendale, California, that discussed LGBT issues in the curriculum.

Local CBS affiliate KCAL-9 reported on the clashes:

Protests outside a Glendale school district meeting turned violent as groups began several brawls as administrators debate gender and sexual identity studies.

Demonstrations outside of the Glendale Unified School District building stayed relatively civil throughout the day. However, scuffles between protesters and counter-demonstrators began after 6 p.m. The same groups, totaling about 200 people, protested outside a North Hollywood elementary school last week. School administrators said many of the protesters did not have students in the district.

One group, “Gays Against Groomers,” supports LGBT rights but not the indoctrination of young children:

As Breitbart News reported last month, parents in nearby North Hollywood pulled their children out of a local school to protest a Pride month assembly. Many of the parents were conservative Christians from the Armenian community.

The boycott was accompanied by a protest outside the school, in which parents and sympathetic activists voiced their opposition to teaching about alternative sexualities and gender transitions in the school.

Democrats, including White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, have described reactions to LGBT issues in school curricula as “hateful,” but many parents feel such instruction is not age-appropriate, whether the sexuality in question is gay, straight, or otherwise.

Click here to read the full article in BreitbartCA

Parents to Protest June 2 Pride Event at San Fernando Valley Elementary School

Conservative parents at Saticoy Elementary oppose teaching children about LGBTQ+ parents at an assembly

A group of parents at Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood are urging families to “keep your children home and innocent” on Friday, June 2, when the school is holding a pride-oriented assembly that will include discussion of LGBTQ+ parents.

The opposing parents plan to protest outside the school on June 2 at 8 a.m., according to posts on an Instagram page that expressed outrage that the school plans to teach children about LGBTQ+ identities during a book reading. Conversely, LGBTQ+ advocates are upset by the parents and support the school’s effort to educate students about different sexual identities.

According to a district spokesperson, the event at Saticoy Elementary will include a reading of The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman, which cites family types including multi-cultural families, multi-racial families, single parent families and — to the chagrin of protesting parents — families with LGBTQ+ parents.

The group called Saticoy Elementary Parents on its Instagram page says the school has a significant  population of Armenian and Hispanic families who “share conservative values” and “don’t feel this material is appropriate to teach to the children.”

“We respect everyone, but some things are appropriate for children (of) that age, and some things are not,” Saticoy Elementary School parent George Dzhabroyan told KTLA on Tuesday, May 23. “Hopefully the message gets across and people understand that parents should be the primary contact of what their children should be exposed to and shouldn’t be exposed to.”

Noah Reich, a San Fernando Valley-based LGBTQ advocate and co-founder of the non-profit organization Classroom of Compassion, thinks the reading is a good way to introduce young students to the topic of sexuality.

“I don’t think anyone is ever too young to learn about a world that reflects and welcomes them,” he said. “I don’t know if there is a more innocent way to begin a conversation about LGBTQ+ people not only being parts of our family but also being worthy to create families.”

He was echoed by Kevin Perez, president and co-founder of Somos Familia Valle, an LGBTQ+ support group in the East San Fernando Valley.

“Even in the San Fernando Valley, there are a lot of LGBTQ+ parents. That is certainly what we need to accept,” Perez said.

When asked what he would say to parents who object to an assembly focused on the book, he responded: “I would say, ‘have an open mind and an open heart.’ There are many different family units that exist and have always existed. This is nothing new.”

SEE: Target pulls some LGBTQ+ merchandise ahead of June Pride month after backlash from some shoppers

An LAUSD spokesperson said the district is committed to creating a safe and inclusive learning environment that reflects and embraces the diverse population it serves.

“As part of our engagement with school communities, our schools regularly discuss the diversity of the families that we serve and the importance of inclusion,” LAUSD said in a statement. “This remains an active discussion with our school communities and we remain committed to continuing to engage with families about this important topic.”

The conservative parent group at Saticoy Elementary was also active in opposing the school district’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In October 2021 about a dozen staff and parents held an anti-vaccine protest outside the school.

“We said no to COVID-19 vaccines and it’s now over,” the group wrote this month in a May 17 Instagram story. “It was a hard fought battle and we won! Now it is time to say stop grooming our children.”

Reich, the Classroom of Compassion co-founder, said he was dismayed, but not surprised.

“This type of homophobia and fear tactics is nothing new that our community has faced,” he said. “Nevertheless, it’s an absolute shame that there are kids and students in our home city being subjected to this rhetoric.”

Reich and his fellow non-profit co-founder, David Maldonado, grew up attending LAUSD schools in the San Fernando Valley and at that time both felt unsafe being openly gay.

“As students and products of LAUSD, it wasn’t easy for us being queer in those environments,” he said. “We’ve seen the incredible progress that so many schools and spaces have made to make their campuses and classrooms more inclusive and more welcoming for students. In a time where the world can feel scarier and scarier, the classroom is so often a sanctuary for students, especially queer ones.”

Perez, the president and co-founder Somos Familia Valle said he was “shocked” to see the strong pushback from the Saticoy Elementary Parents group. His own group provides support groups and workshops at nearby high schools for queer and transgender students, including several LAUSD schools.

“It (the protest) is part of the anti-LGBTQ push in general,” he said.

The argument over whether Saticoy Elementary students should be taught about different sexual identities in school is part of a tense national debate.

In March 2022, Florida passed a ban on teaching sexual orientation and gender identity in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. In April, the Florida Board of Education expanded this ban, also known as the “Don’t Say Gay Law”, to apply to all grade levels.

Similar laws are in the works, or have passed, in at least at least a dozen other states. Debates have also arisen over gender neutral bathrooms and the rights of transgender students to utilize the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

The ban on teaching about sexual orientation in classrooms is championed by Florida governor and potential presidential contender Ron DeSantis, who has made a conservative attitude towards LBGTQ rights a cornerstone of his platform. In November 2022, he convinced the Florida Board of Medicine to ban hormone treatment and surgeries for transgender minors.

The California state legislature, meanwhile, has continued to pass laws intended to uphold the rights of LGBTQ youth. Senate Bill 48, passed in 2012, requires all public schools to include LGBTQ+ history in their social studies curriculum. The California Healthy Youth Act, which was enacted in 2016, requires that schools teach about sexual orientations and gender identity.

And on Wednesday the state Senate approved SB 407, a bill that would direct the Department of Social Services to strengthen the foster care vetting process to ensure LGBTQ+ foster youth are not placed in hostile homes.

Click here to read the full article in the Los Angeles Daily News

Anaheim Mayor Invites Queer, Trans Nuns Group to Angels Pride Night

Anaheim’s mayor has invited a group of self-described queer and transgender nuns that was disinvited from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night to be her guest at the Los Angeles Angels’ upcoming pride night.

“I’m inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to join me for @Angels Pride Night at Anaheim Stadium on June 7,” Mayor Ashleigh Aitken tweeted Saturday. “Pride should be inclusive and like many, I was disappointed in the Dodgers decision.”

Neither the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence nor the Angels immediately responded to a request for comment Sunday. It was not clear whether the group would accept the invitation, or whether they would have any official participation in the team’s June 7 event.

“I think it was a missed opportunity to really err on the side of being inclusive and err on the side of standing up for our marginalized communities, especially on the eve of Harvey Milk Day, especially on the eve of Pride Month,” Aitken told ABC7 of the Dodgers’ decision to revoke their invitation.

The Dodgers’ decision, announced Wednesday, came after complaints raised by several Catholic organizations and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who said the group — billed as an “order of queer and trans nuns” — regularly disparaged Christians.

“This year, as part of a full night of programming, we invited a number of groups to join us,” according to a statement issued by the team. “We are now aware that our inclusion of one group in particular — The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — in this year’s Pride Night has been the source of some controversy.

“Given the strong feelings of people who have been offended by the sisters’ inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees.”

The group had been scheduled to receive a Community Hero Award at the team’s June 16 Pride Night, honoring its efforts to promote human rights, diversity and “spiritual enlightenment.”

The Sisters issued a statement Thursday expressing “deep offense” at being uninvited to the event, calling the decision a capitulation to “hateful and misleading information from people outside their community.” The group insisted it is a nonprofit organization that “annually raises thousands of dollars to distribute to organizations supporting marginalized communities.”

“Our ministry is real. We promulgate universal joy, expiate stigmatic guilt and our use of religious trappings is a response to those faiths whose members would condemn us and seek to strip away the rights of marginalized communities,” Sister Rosie Partridge, described as the “abbess” of the group, said in a statement.

The Sisters’ website describes the organization as “a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns.”

Other high-profile Southland supporters of LGBTQ rights also chimed in, expressing disappointment in the Dodgers’ decision.

The Dodgers’ original decision to honor the group drew criticism from various Catholic organizations. Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, accused the team of “rewarding anti-Catholicism” by honoring the group.

“The Catholic League has been the leading critic of this bigoted organization for many decades,” Donohue wrote on the organization’s website. “… These homosexual bigots are known for simulating sodomy while dressed as nuns.”

He added, “Just last month, they held an event mocking our Blessed Mother and Jesus on Easter Sunday.”

Donohue said he wrote to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to protest the Dodgers’ decision to honor the group.

Rubio also sent a complaint to Manfred, saying the group “mocks Christians through diabolical parodies of our faith.”

“Do you believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers are being ‘inclusive and welcoming to everyone’ by giving an award to a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians — and not only Christians, but nuns, who devote their lives to serving others?” Rubio wrote in his letter.

The organization Catholic Vote also condemned the group’s inclusion in the Dodgers’ event. Its president, Brian Burch, issued a statement Wednesday hailing the team’s decision to exclude the group, which he called “an anti-Catholic hate group known for their gross mockery of Catholic nuns.”

“While we continue to wonder how such a group was selected in the first place, this incident should serve as a wake-up call for all religious believers: unchecked woke corporations have no qualms about exploiting people of faith,” Burch said.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register