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.

ProtectKidsCA.com 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

California May End Travel Ban to States With Anti-LGBTQ Laws

When North Carolina in 2016 banned transgender people from using the bathroom of their gender identity in public buildings, California retaliated by banning state-funded travel to that state and any other state with laws it deemed discriminatory against LGBTQ people.

But seven years later, California now bans state-funded travel to nearly half of the country following a surge of anti-LGBTQ legislation in mostly Republican-led states.

The prohibition means sports teams at public colleges and universities have had to find other ways to pay for road games in states like Arizona and Utah. And it has complicated some of the state’s other policy goals, like using state money to pay for people who live in other states to travel to California for abortions.

Wednesday, state Senate leader Toni Atkins announced legislation that would end the ban and replace it with an advertising campaign in those states that promotes acceptance and inclusion for the LGBTQ community. The bill would set up a fund to pay for the campaign, which would accept private donations and state funding — if any is available.

“I think polarization is not working,” said Atkins, who is a lesbian. “We need to adjust our strategy. We know what we need to do, but we need to be able to be there to do it.”

Overturning the ban could be difficult in the California Legislature, where 10% of lawmakers now identify as LGBT. Assemblymember Evan Low, a Democrat from Campbell who authored the travel ban in 2016, said he supports the advertising campaign but said “we shouldn’t completely end California’s state-funded travel ban without having an alternative action in combating discrimination.”

“We can’t back down, especially as a record amount of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is being introduced,” said Low, who is gay.

California’s travel ban has been in effect since 2017. The state Attorney General keeps a list of states subject to the ban, a list that has grown quickly as several states have passed laws restricting doctors from providing gender-affirming care to minors and stopping transgender women and girls from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity.


Today, the ban includes 23 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

The law applies to state agencies, departments, boards, authorities and commissions — including the schools that are part of the University of California and the California State University systems.

That means schools like the University of California, Berkeley, can’t use state money for their football teams to travel to away games in Arizona and Utah — schools it must play against because they are in the same athletic conference.

The San Diego State University men’s basketball team will play in the Final Four on Saturday in Houston, a state that is on the no-travel list. The team got around the ban because the NCAA, not California taxpayers, is footing the bill for the team’s travel. But the ban does mean the school can’t schedule football games against teams in Texas, said Jamie McConeghy, senior associate athletic director of communications and media relations for San Diego State.

The law has a number of exceptions, including travel necessary to enforce California laws, meet contractual obligations or to obtain grant funding. It also allows travel for the protection of health and safety, which is why a state-funded security detail could travel with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s family on a vacation to Montana last year.

But it has complicated some of the Democrats’ policy goals in surprising ways. Last year, California agreed to spend $20 million to help women in other states travel to California for abortions in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

“We could help someone fly or travel to California, but when they had to go back to Texas or Florida or whatever any of those states, we actually couldn’t legitimately spend money to send them home,” Atkins said. “It starts to get complicated.”

Atkins said she will formally introduce the legislation on Thursday, which must be vetted by lawmakers in both the state Senate and state Assembly before it could become law — a process that will take several months.

“When you disagree with someone, you should try to open their eyes to change hearts and minds, not pretend they don’t exist,” said Assemblymember Greg Wallis, a Republican from Bermuda Dunes. “I’m glad California is coming around to that approach.”

Marc Stein, a history professor at San Francisco State University who is gay and does research on queer history, said he would want to hear from LGBTQ communities in other states before deciding whether he supports lifting the travel ban.

But Stein said he would like to see an exception made for social justice research. Shortly after California’s travel ban took place, he said he had trouble booking a trip to North Carolina shortly after the travel ban took effect so he could research the case of a transgender woman who had been arrested for sodomy in the 1960s.

Click here to read the full article in AP News

In California, 10% of Legislature Now Identifies as LGBTQ

While LGBTQ candidates and their supporters celebrated several milestone victories around the nation in this year’s midterm elections, California quietly reached its own: At least 10% of its state lawmakers identify publicly as LGBTQ, believed to be a first for any U.S. legislature.

The California legislators, all Democrats, are proud of their success but say it underscores the hard work that remains in their own state and elsewhere, such as handling the fallout from measures such as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans some lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity, or laws in other states limiting transgender students’ participation in sports or blocking gender-affirming medical care for youths.

The milestone was further shrouded by the Saturday night shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado, which killed five people and wounded many others. The suspect was charged with murder and hate crimes. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who just won a second term, was the first openly gay man elected as a state’s governor when he won in 2018.

“When it comes to LGBTQ people, we’re on two tracks: One track is that societally we’re winning. People by and large are totally fine with LGBTQ people, they support us, they are accepting and willing to vote for LGBTQ candidates,” California state Sen. Scott Wiener, a member of the LGBTQ Caucus, said Monday.

Yet, he said, “despite the fact that we are winning the battle in society at large, you have a very vocal, dangerous minority of extremists who are consistently attacking and demonizing our community.”

At least 519 out LGBTQ candidates won elected office this year, in positions ranging from school board up to Congress and governor, said LGBTQ Victory Fund press secretary Albert Fujii. That’s a record, well up from 2020, when 336 LGBTQ candidates won, according to the group, which along with Equality California calculated that California is the first state to pass the 10% threshold.

Of the 12 current or soon-to-be members of the California Legislature, eight were already part of its LGBTQ Caucus, including the leader of the Senate and three other senators whose terms run until 2024. Four current Assembly members won reelection Nov. 8, with two new Assembly members and two new senators joining them, increasing the caucus’s ranks by 50%. The AP has not yet called one remaining race that could add an additional LGBTQ lawmaker.

The lawmakers will be sworn in for their new terms Dec. 5; between both chambers there are 120 total legislators.

The U.S. census has found that 9.1% of Californians identified as LGBT — compared with 7.9% for the nation overall — so the Legislature will have roughly reached parity in sexual orientation and gender identity. Meanwhile, the Legislature has not yet reached parity in gender or in race and ethnicity, according to statistics from the California State Library.

New Hampshire and Vermont have each had more LGBTQ legislators, according to the institute, but their legislatures are bigger than California’s and so have not reached the 10% threshold.

The 2022 elections are a landscape of firsts for LGBTQ people, including Corey Jackson, the California Legislature’s first gay Black man, who noted that African Americans — particularly Black trans people — are especially marginalized.

“I think this is an opportunity just to say that number one, we are here, we do have something to contribute and we can lead and represent with the best of them,” said Jackson, a school board member from Riverside County.

Alaska and South Dakota elected their first out LGBTQ legislators, and Montana and Minnesota elected their first transgender legislators, according to the Human Rights Campaign. In New Hampshire, Democrat James Roesener, 26, became the first trans man elected to any U.S. state legislature.

He said he was motivated to run after a state bill that would have required schools to notify parents of developments in their children’s gender identity and expression failed only narrowly. Opponents of such requirements say they invade children’s privacy and can put them at risk of abuse at home.

Leigh Finke, who was elected in Minnesota, also was driven by growing anti-transgender rhetoric.

Finke hopes to ban so-called conversion therapy in Minnesota and, like California, make the state a sanctuary for children, and their parents, who can’t access gender-affirming health care elsewhere.

“I just thought, ‘This can’t stand.’ We have to have trans people in these rooms. If we are going to lose our rights, at least they have to look us in the eye when they do it,” she said.

Massachusetts and Oregon elected the nation’s first out lesbian governors.

Charlotte Perri, a 23-year-old voting organizer in Portland, Oregon, said she got emotional hearing Gov.-elect Tina Kotek talk at a campaign event about young people thanking her for running.

“It’s hard to feel optimistic as a young queer person with everything that’s going on,” Perri said.

Though the newly elected LGBTQ officials are overwhelmingly Democrats, at least one gay Republican — George Santos, a supporter of former President Donald Trump — won a U.S. House seat in New York by defeating another gay man, a Democrat.

The increase in LGBTQ lawmakers contrasts with efforts in some states led by members of Santos’ party to limit the influence, visibility and rights of LGBTQ people.

In Tennessee, leaders of the state’s Republican legislative supermajority said the first bill of the 2023 session will seek to ban gender-affirming care for minors. Tennessee has one LGTBQ lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Torrey Harris.

The state already has banned transgender athletes from participating in girls middle and high school sports and restricted which bathrooms transgender students and employees can use.

The Human Rights Campaign tracked what it identified as anti-LGTBQ bills introduced in 23 states this year and said they became law in 13: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Louisiana.

By contrast, “as California’s Legislative LGBTQ Caucus has grown, the state has led the nation in passing groundbreaking legislation protecting LGBTQ+ civil rights,” said Equality California spokesperson Samuel Garrett-Pate.

Wiener carried California’s sanctuary bill for transgender youths, which has been copied by Democratic lawmakers in other states. He and a fellow Assembly member teamed up in 2019 to expand access to HIV prevention medication. Other laws pushed by LGBTQ legislators over the years gave foster children rights to gender-affirming care and allowed nonbinary gender markers on state identification.

It’s too soon to have a solid plan for new legislation, California caucus members said, but Wiener noted realms to consider include employment resources for transgender people; homelessness and crime among at-risk LGTBQ youth; and sexual health services.

Click here to read the full article at AP News

Glendale Third-Grade Teacher Showed Gay Pride Videos. A Year Later, Furious Debate Erupts

A Glendale third-grade teacher who nearly a year ago showed videos celebrating gay pride to her students has been involuntarily transferred from her classroom for safety reasons after receiving threats — alocal chapter in the nation’s furious debate over what should be taught in schools about gender identity.

The conflict in the Glendale Unified School District, a suburban L.A. County school system of about 25,000 students, centers on four short videos the teacher prepared to show her class. Three of the videos explain gay pride with songs and animation. One features a song called, “Love Is Love,” with the message that parents and families come in many configurations and what matters most is the love between a guardian and a child. In another, “Queer Kids Stuff,” a cheerful young narrator celebrates pride.

The video that has spurred the most objection — and one that some parents said crossed the line of age appropriateness — is “Talking to Kids about Pride Month.” It shows an enthusiastic roundtable discussion with young children led by Canadian TV personality Jessi Cruickshank.

In the nearly three-minute video, Cruickshank uses the terms “sexual diversity” and “coming out of the closet” and notes that, as a youth, her admiration for actress Jodie Foster made her question her own sexuality, especially after seeing Foster naked in a film, which she said she watched several times. The children joyfully explain the possible advantages of having two parents of the same gender or becoming a “gay icon.”

While it’s not clear which videos were shown in class, parents, teachers, students, activists and community members have packed recent school board meetings — at times shouting or jeering — to express profoundly held views on whether, when and how gender identity lessons are appropriate. At one point a school board member, who supports such lessons, walked out during the public comments.

Some speakers expressed measured concern specifically over the Cruickshank video. Others said parents have a right to remove their child from these lessons or that such discussions should take place only within the family, not at school.

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