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Travel advisory issued by advocacy group warning parents to avoid “trans refuge” states
By Cassie B. // May 28, 2023

An advocacy group has issued a travel advisory warning parents about recent legislation in California and Minnesota that could strip parents of their parental rights.

The warning issued by the American Principles Project (APP) is a response to legislation in these states allowing state family courts to take temporary emergency jurisdiction over minors who enter the state to access gender-related surgeries or sex-change medications, even if the minor has come from another state. They note that legal experts have argued that such laws could cause out-of-state parents to lose custody of their children.

Senate Bill 107 in California established the Golden State as a “refuge” for transgender minors. California is also considering a bill that would mandate family courts to "strongly consider that affirming the minor’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child if a nonconsenting parent objects to a name and gender marker change to affirm conform to the minor’s gender identity."

Similar legislation was passed in Minnesota protecting children who seek transgender-related procedures and medications who have been denied such care in other states. Known as HF 146, the bill was introduced by Minnesota’s first transgender lawmaker.

The bill’s opponents referred to it as “the kidnapping bill,” expressing concerns that it could serve as a loophole for custody disputes.

Representative Peggy Scott (R-Andover), said: “This allows children, regardless of age, to seek and receive radical medical treatments that can cause sterilization, bone loss, loss of sexual function and brain development – all without their parents' guidance and love. We used to protect our kids in the state of Minnesota… You can always move to California, they already passed these laws.”

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The President of APP, Terry Schilling, said in a statement that being unable to protect children from harm is every parent’s worst nightmare.

“Yet today, families traveling to California or Minnesota could be at risk for that awful scenario actually playing out — losing custody of their kids to an industry that aims to sterilize and mutilate their bodies. It is frightening, and enraging, to think such anti-family policies have taken hold here in the United States," he added.

Schilling also warned that the left is looking to implement similar legislation in every state, in addition to the federal level. He said that parents need to stop “anti-family forces” from succeeding and make sure their lawmakers are serving children's best interests.

Parents Bill of Rights keeps parents informed about transgender issues in schools

This spring, Congress passed the Parents Bill of Rights. Among other issues, it requires schools to notify parents about their transgender student policies. It would force schools to notify parents if they permit a transgender student to take part in a sports team that does not match with their true birth gender. They would also have to inform parents if transgender students are given permission to use a bathroom that does not align with their birth gender.

Florida recently took some decisive steps to protect children with a series of bills signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis this week. One of the bills stops those under the age of 18 from getting sex reassignment surgeries or taking cross-sex hormones. It would also ban Medicaid from reimbursing individuals who undergo such procedures. The aim of the bill is to prevent the mutilation of minors who are too young to understand the long-term consequences of these interventions. It also dictates that adults who undergo these operations must be informed about their dangers as well as their irreversible nature. Courts will also be given temporary jurisdiction to stop these procedures for out-of-state children.

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