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Washington Democratic Governor Jay Inslee was sued Wednesday by a nonprofit legal group seeking to stop the enforcement of a law allowing the state to hide child sex-change surgeries from parents.
American First Legal, led by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, filed the lawsuit over Senate Bill 5599, which was recently signed into law by Inslee. The bill was pushed by leftist lawmakers as protection of trans-identifying youth and allows “host homes” to keep parents in the dark about their child’s sex-change procedure. According to American First Legal, the legislation “creates a dangerous incentive for minors who disagree with their parents on ‘gender-affirming care’ to run away to a shelter or host home.”
“No state action more frighteningly illustrates the threat to our children than this law,” Miller said. “This sick, authoritarian law essentially allows the state to kidnap children from their parents and hide their whereabouts to surgically and chemically mutilate them — and to formally deprive their parents of any legal ability to stop the medical disfigurement of their sons and daughters by gender extremists targeting their children.”
/1🚨BREAKING — we sued the governor of Washington @GovInslee to block enforcement of a new “state-sanctioned kidnapping” bill that allows the state to hide kids from their parents to perform “gender transitions” – including disfiguring drugs and mutilating surgeries.
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) August 16, 2023
Under the new law, shelters or “host homes,” are not required to notify parents of a runaway child if the child claims to be fleeing parents who do not approve of a sex-change procedure or an abortion. Instead of reporting the runaway child to the parents, the host home is required to notify the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families.
The legislation also adds abortion as a “compelling reason” for licensed shelters and host homes not to notify parents if a runaway child is seeking such a procedure. The bill easily made it through the Democrat-controlled legislature, passing the Senate 29-20 and the House 57-39. It was sponsored by state Sen. Marko Liias, a Democrat who represents an area just north of Seattle and is co-chair of the LGBTQ caucus.
“Every child – including our trans youth – deserves to be safe at home. In a perfect world, that is the case, but unfortunately, that is not the reality,” Liias said in a press release. “This legislation affirms our commitment to ensuring children have a safe and stable place to go when they are not welcome at home.”
When he signed the bill, Inslee said the law is a “compassionate, developmentally appropriate, and reasoned approach to support these youth as they access gender-affirming treatment and reproductive health care services.”
The suit also goes after Washington Attorney General Robert Furguson and the secretary of the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families, Ross Hunter. American First Legal argues that the new statute “deprives certain parents of their fundamental rights under the United States Constitution to direct the care and upbringing of their children.”
“America First Legal is proud to defend parental rights and stand up against the insidious ‘gender-affirming care’ agenda, which promotes using experimental medical procedures and drugs on minor children – potentially altering their lives forever,” said Miller.
Leif Le Mahieu contributed to this report.