Blog Post

CA to Allow School Kids to Determine Own Gender


school kidsA Democratic California Assemblyman has introduced a new bill that will require public schools to allow students to choose which bathroom, locker room, and sports team matches their gender identity - and to do so with or without their parents' consent.

Debra J. Saunders, writing for, reports that Assembly Bill 1266 (AB1266) has passed both the state Assembly and Senate and is sitting on the governor's desk awaiting his signature.

Introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, AB1266 is a K-12 transgender rights bill that will change the education code to specify that regardless of the gender listed on a student's paperwork, he or she can participate in sex-segregated activities, teams, and even bathroom facilities in a way that is consistent with his or her gender identity.

In other words, school administrators cannot stop a boy from using the girls' room if he identifies more as a girl than a boy.

"We know that these particular students suffer much abuse and bullying and denigration," said a supporter of the bill, California Senator Mark Leno, to the Associated Press. "We can't change that overnight, but what we can do is make sure that the rules are such that they get a fair shake."

Opponents say the bill would "ride roughshod over parental sensibilities and educator discretion, as some parents don’t think that enrolling their kids in kindergarten must entail a talk about transgender equality," writes Saunders.

"AB 1266 would direct schools to ignore biology and let children decide how they want to self-identify. No student, including elementary-school pupils, would need his or her parents’ permission to change gender identity."

The dangers of this bill cannot be overstated. Notwithstanding the fact that children who are barely able to read are obviously unable to make such a huge decision about their lives, many children eventually grow out of their perceived troubles, and to revert back to their former sex may cause even more psychological problems.

In addition to this potential problem, a 2011 Swedish study found that persons with transsexualism who have undergone sex reassignment have significantly higher rates of mortality, suicidal behavior and psychiatric problems than the general population.

"Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism, and should inspire improved psychiatric and somatic care after sex reassignment for this patient group," the study reports.

In other words, even those who do believe they are suffering from gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person believes his/her sense of being a man or a woman contradicts their bodily sex characteristics, don't necessarily benefit from going through with a sex change.

Experts such as John Hopkins psychiatry professor Paul McHugh told Saunders he believes the Ammiano bill is especially irresponsible because there are children who change their minds about their gender identity when they mature. “If you’re an adult,” he said, "you’re welcome to do it. Go ahead, be my guest. This is America, but you’re responsible for it. I’m all for freedom and responsibility.”

Other lawmakers agree and say not even high schoolers should be allowed to make such a weighty decision. Republican state Sen. Jean Fuller warned against passing a bill that takes away from educators’ “appropriate discretion” to make decisions that protect young children and teenagers. “High-school students are not known for their maturity,” she noted.

Saunders believes Ammiano probably wrote the bill in an effort to protect transgender children from the torment of growing up feeling freakish and unwelcome.

"He apparently believes that it is wrong for kids to agonize privately about their sexuality, so he’s pushing a bill that would make a student’s gender issues very public, possibly before some students truly know who they are," she writes.

But this bill isn't the way to help them.

" . . . (S)upporters seem to believe that if the law requires that transgender students have access to the locker rooms and sports teams of their choosing, all their problems will melt away. . . . It never seems to occur to Ammiano and company that for some children, this bill could open the door to a world of pain."

While the Church does not condone any form of discrimination, Pope Benedict XVI spoke clearly about the concept of gender identity in his Christmas Greeting of December 2012. He said that when “sex is no longer a given element of nature that man has to accept and personally make sense of,” but instead is viewed as “a social role that we choose for ourselves,” human beings lose sight of “an essential aspect of what being human is all about.”

When “people dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” then they deny the truth that “male and female He created them.” Man then rejects God as Creator. “When freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God.”

When human beings deny the truth about themselves, they ultimately deny the truth about God.

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