On Tuesday, Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) signed the controversial Senate Bill 5599 introduced by State Sen. Marko Liias (D-Everett), which allows the state to legally take children away from their parents if they don’t consent to their child’s gender transition surgeries or abortion.
Washington state’s current law requires that any youth shelter where a child seeks refuge must notify their parents or guardians within 24 to 72 hours. However, the state law allows them to not tell the parents or legal guardians if they have “compelling reasons” to believe that doing so would put the kid in danger of abuse or neglect.
The newly signed law will allow the government to hide the whereabouts of runaway children who claim to be seeking sex changes or abortions. Meaning, no one can protest the “state-sanctioned kidnapping of children.”
Senate Bill 5599 will remove parents from the health and mental health care decision-making process of their children.
“Trans youth and transgender people have become a target for disinformation campaigns and political stunts that portray them as dangerous or degenerate,” said Inslee during the bill signing Tuesday.
“In Washington State, we reject the politics of transphobia and fear. We look for ways to help LGBTQ remain safe and support it. With this bill, Washington leads the way by taking a more compassionate, developmentally appropriate, and reasoned approach to support these youth as they access gender-affirming treatment and reproductive health care services,” he added.
Democrat Washington State Senator Marko Liias, the prime sponsor of the bill, issued a statement when the bill was signed into law.
“Transgender and at-risk youth deserve safety during difficult times in their life,” said Liias.
“SB5599 to remove barriers to safe shelter for those seeking gender-affirming or reproductive care was signed into law today! I’m so inspired by and honored to work with our LGBTQ community,” he added.
A group has reportedly filed a referendum to overturn SB 5599, as reported by Discovery Institute Senior Journalist Jonathan Choe. The campaign to gather the required number of signatures to appear on the November ballot has officially begun, Choe added.
More of SB 5599 from Clark County Today:
Although framed by proponents as a bill to protect youth suffering from abuse, SB 5599 only stipulates that the minors be “seeking or receiving protected health care services” for a homeless shelter or “host home” to avoid informing the parents or legal guardians, as otherwise required by state law.
The bill adds youth seeking abortions or irreversible gender surgeries to the list of compelling reasons while allocating $7.5 million to the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs for “supportive care grants to organizations to address the needs of youth and young adults seeking protected health care services.” The bill does not state when or if the parents ever need to be notified of their child’s whereabouts.
As defined by existing state law, “gender affirming care” includes but is not limited to the following procedures:
- Breast augmentation
- Chemical peel
- Facial feminization surgeries
- Face lift
- Facial masculinization surgeries
- Forehead brow lift
- Genital modification
- Hair line modification
- Hair removal by electrolysis or laser
- Lip enhancement
- Reduction thyroid chondroplasty (chondrolaryngoplasty or tracheal shave)
- Skin resurfacing
- Penile implant
- Voice modification
Combined with HB 1469, which has passed in both chambers, the two policies would allow youth from other states to run away from home, go to a Washington youth shelter seeking an abortion or gender surgery, and the parents would not have to be notified. Also, none of the medical records related to any of those services could be obtained.
One amendment added on the House floor requires OHY to collect data on the number of unsheltered homeless youth in the state, while another requires the Department of Children, Youth, and Families to offer a runaway youth referrals to behavioral health services and services to “resolve the conflict and accomplish a reunification of the family.”
Existing family reunification services include:
- Short-term family counseling
- Crisis Residential Center services
- Referrals for substance abuse treatment and/or counseling
- Referrals for mental health services
- Short-term placement
Although SB 5599 does not address abuse or neglect, supporters speaking on the House floor before the April 12 vote conflated parents not accepting a child’s claim to be the opposite gender as akin to an “unsafe” home environment.