By CARLOS GARCIA | October 13, 2022
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A Democratic Virginia state lawmaker wants to pass legislation that would make parents face criminal charges if they refused to affirm their child’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Delegate Elizabeth Guzman said that she will introduce the proposal in the next session of the Virginia legislature. The social worker said that the new law is meant to be a rebuke of Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s issuance of new rules on transgender students in schools.
“The day that Governor Youngkin wanted to implement this policy, I immediately texted the policy lead of that committee and said, this is how we’re going to push back,” Guzman said to WJLA-TV.
Guzman’s bill would include refusal to accept gender and sexual identity in the definition of child abuse.
“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,” Guzman explained.
“And then that’s how everybody gets involved,” she added. “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.”
She said the punishment could have deep consequences for the parental offenders.
“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,” Guzman said.
When challenged that the proposed law might infringe on parents’ religious freedom, Guzman claimed the Bible says everyone should be accepted.
“The Bible says to accept everyone for who they are. So that’s what I tell them when they asked me that question, and that’s what I will continue to tell people,” she responded.