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How A Ballot Initiative To Save Kids From Trans Madness In California Could Save Them Elsewhere Too

kids sitting a room while a teacher reads them a book
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If radical gender ideology goes down in California, it will fall everywhere.


The Democrats who run California love “transitioning” kids, including chemically and surgically sterilizing them. But a courageous group of residents is betting California voters are less radical than their politicians and that the tide can turn against gender ideology even on the West Coast.

A proposed ballot initiative by Protect Kids California would put the Golden State’s radical “trans kids” agenda — which has previously been checked only by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s presidential ambition — before the people. 

The initiative would enact three policies. First, it would end the practice of government schools socially transitioning children without telling parents. Schools would be required to inform parents about mental health issues, including gender-identity issues, and to have parental permission before pretending a boy is a girl, or vice versa. 

Second, the law would require that sex-specific spaces and sports be based on sex, rather than self-declared “gender identity.” Boys would no longer be allowed to participate in girls’ sports or share the girls’ locker room, showers, and other private spaces. 

Finally, the law would prohibit medically transitioning children with chemicals, hormones, and surgeries in an impossible quest to change a child’s sex. Chemically castrating boys and amputating the healthy breasts of troubled adolescent girls would be illegal.

These worthy goals might seem impossible. Even as many other states have enacted such policies, California’s leaders have doubled down on radical gender ideology and transitioning children. But the organizers of the initiative point to polling to argue that California’s voters are on their side on this issue, even if Californians tend to vote for Democrats who are in the grip of gender ideology and the transgender lobby. Erin Friday, one of the leaders of the effort, is a lifelong Democrat, and she is convinced there are many more like her who find the transgender industry’s targeting of children abhorrent.

She may be right. The campaign’s website highlights polling showing that the public is with them, and in an email to me, Friday shared additional polling commissioned by the feminist Women’s Liberation Front showing overwhelming support for the child-protection policies this ballot initiative would enact. 

This ballot initiative would protect children from outside California as well. As Friday has explained, California is a sanctuary state for sexual experiments on children. In the name of gender ideology, California now refuses to return runaways to their out-of-state parents, pays for minors to be chemically and surgically castrated, and shields doctors who flee to California after breaking the laws of other states. Winning in California is a victory for everyone.

Thus California’s Democrat establishment will do everything it can to stop this. The state attorney general has already written a biased and inaccurate summary of the measure (the title line is literally “RESTRICTS RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER YOUTH”) that by law is included on the petition pages. And additional resistance is sure to follow — for example, petition signatures will be rigorously scrutinized by people who otherwise denounce election-integrity measures as racist. 

The debate over the measure will be ugly. Its opponents will undoubtedly resort to suicide threats early and often, declaring that this law will push kids to kill themselves. It won’t, but telling kids to take themselves hostage is the transgender movement’s main weapon. After all, the only harm that can come from not transitioning is self-harm. Furthermore, there is no good evidence that castrating or mutilating kids reduces suicides. And in other contexts, we recognize that constantly threatening suicide is manipulative and abusive.

The ugliness won’t end just because the election does. If this measure gets on the ballot and passes, there will be lawsuits. There will be protests that turn into riots. There will be promises of noncompliance from government officials and employees. But it will all be worth it. 

If gender ideology goes down in California, it will fall everywhere. Even the most committed Democrats (and the most craven Republicans — looking at you, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine) will have to acknowledge that it is a political liability. And the collapse could be swift. Many people went along with radical gender ideology not out of conviction, but because they were afraid of being caught on the wrong side of the latest front in the cultural revolution. They will happily abandon it if their fear is taken away, and defeating transgender radicalism in California will do that.

There is work to do before that happy future is realized. The initiative has yet to qualify for the ballot, let alone pass. California residents can print out the petition, sign it, and mail it in. They can also volunteer. And everyone can donate to help fund the effort. Collecting more than a half-million valid signatures isn’t free, to say nothing of countering the mass of lies the media will tell about it.

But it is worth the attempt. 2023 brought a lot of victories in protecting children in Republican states from transgender insanity, but victory requires going on offense, even — especially — in California.

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