Virginia Parents Could Face Felony Charges for Not Affirming Their Children’s LGBTQ Identity

It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it?

If a Virginia lawmaker gets her way, parents could face felony or misdemeanor charges if they do not affirm their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity. State delegate Elizabeth Guzman, a social worker, announced plans to reintroduce a bill that is supposedly intended to protect LGBTQ children from parents who are not affirming of their children’s choices when it comes to sexuality and gender identity. The proposed measure would expand the state’s definition of child abuse to include parents who are not on board with progressive ideology on these matters.

“If the child shares with those mandated reporters, what they are going through, we are talking about not only physical abuse or mental abuse, what the job of that mandated reporter is to inform Child Protective Services (CPS),” Guzman said in a conversation with 7News. “And then that’s how everybody gets involved. There’s also an investigation in place that is not only from a social worker but there’s also a police investigation before we make the decision that there is going to be a CPS charge.”

When asked what the penalties would be if the authorities determine that a parent is not affirming enough of their LGBTQ child, Guzman indicated it could be a felony or misdemeanor.

“Well, we first have to complete an investigation,” she replied. “It could be a felony, it could be a misdemeanor, but we know that CPS charge could harm your employment, could harm their education, because nowadays many people do a CPS database search before offering employment.”

The interviewer asked Guzman about those who said this bill would criminalize parents, asking how she would respond to this criticism.

“No, it’s not. It’s educating parents because the law tells you the do’s and don’ts,” she replied. “So this law is telling you do not abuse your children because they are LGBTQ.”

She also claimed that it would not violate First Amendment protections related to religious freedoms:

“The Bible says to accept everyone for who they are. So that’s what I tell [people] when they asked me that question, and that’s what I will continue to tell people. You know, we all have a commitment to God. And for those believers out there, we know that there’s life after life, and there is going to be a conversation between that person and God and that’s what we’re after — to go by what the Bible says. It is not my job to judge anyone. It is my job to help people.”

The proposed addition to the state’s laws regarding child abuse would further define the term as behavior that “creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon such child a physical or mental injury on the basis of the child’s gender identity or sexual orientation.”

However, those opposing the proposal contend that it is allowing the government to usurp the rights of parents for political purposes. Nicole Neily, president of parental rights advocacy group Parents Defending Education, told RedState:

“Regardless of what Delegate Guzman may believe, Virginia parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children – and we have no intention of surrendering those rights to her or any other education bureaucrat.”

Ian Prior, Senior Advisor at America First Legal, indicated that while Guzman’s proposal is “not surprising,” it has no chance of seeing the light of day.

“As shocking and evil as this is, it is not surprising,” Prior said. “Schools in Virginia are keeping parents out of the loop when their children tell staff that they want to identify as a different sex. The very reason schools are doing this is because they believe that parents’ failure to affirm is ‘abuse.'”

Prior noted that this bill “is a natural progression from what the woke left is pushing.”

He added:

“But make no mistake, they will lose this fight. Politicians that push it will be defeated. Organizations that try to separate children from caring parents will be prosecuted and sued. The sick and twisted agenda of these activists will be a relic of the past. And they will join the ranks of history’s villains.”

I’ve been warning that this was coming for over a year. In fact, I just wrote a piece detailing how a Democratic campaign surrogate suggested removing children suffering from gender dysphoria from their homes if their parents are not adequately affirming of their identity.

Prior is right — this bill will likely be slapped down as it was when it was put forth last time. But we should not assume this means that the hard left will give up. They are bent on pushing their gender ideology on the rest of the public regardless of how people feel about it. If they have to threaten people with criminal penalties or use the state to kidnap their children, so be it. This is the latest in an ocean of reasons why conservatives better squash this movement before it gains enough power to successfully push this type of legislation through.

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