Transgender minors who want "gender-affirming care" are now "protected" from "estranged parents" under a new Washington state law, the Associated Press reported.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed the measure Tuesday, the AP noted.
What are the details?
The outlet said licensed shelters and host homes that had been required to notify parents within 72 hours of when minors enter their care now can instead contact the state Department of Children, Youth and Families, which could then "attempt to reunify the family if feasible."
In addition, the AP said under the new law, youths are allowed to stay at host homes "without parental permission." The outlet described host homes as "private, volunteer homes that temporarily house young people."
Interestingly the AP ran with the following headline for its story: "Trans minors protected from parents under Washington law."
Late Wednesday morning the headline remained intact, and the AP article did not appear to have been updated.
The headline didn't escape the notice of conservative commentator Jason Rantz, who tweeted: "An absolute shameful headline and framing from the Associated Press. An absolutely shameful lie. Estranged? Has nothing to do with this bill."
NewsNation solutions reporter Zaid Jilani noted, "Associated Press continues its transformation into Media Matters with this headline."
Prior to signing the measure, Inslee said it signals that Washington state is "taking a more compassionate, developmentally appropriate, and reasoned approach to support these youth as they access gender-affirming treatment and reproductive health care services,” the AP said.
More from the outlet:
Those who oppose gender-affirming care raise fears about the long-term effects treatments have on teens, argue research is limited and focus particularly on irreversible procedures such as genital surgery or mastectomies.
Yet those operations are rarely performed on minors. Doctors typically guide kids toward therapy or voice coaching long before medical intervention. Puberty blockers, anti-androgens that block the effects of testosterone, and hormone treatments are far more common than surgery. They have been available in the U.S. for more than a decade and are standard treatments backed by major doctors’ organizations, including the American Medical Association.
The AP reported that Republican lawmakers in Washington state "have spent weeks railing against the legislation," which Inslee signed into law, noting that state Senate GOP leader John Braun said in March it would drive “a wedge between vulnerable kids and their parents.”
In addition, the outlet reported that people online have "twisted the content of the measure to suggest it will see the state ripping children from their homes."
"But those claims misrepresented the legislation, which is intended to keep estranged young people housed, according to experts and the lawmaker sponsoring the bill," the AP reported. "The bill does not address custody and would not result in the state taking children away from their homes and parents."
More from the outlet:
The Washington legislation requires the state Department of Children, Youth and Families to make a “good faith attempt” to notify parents after they are contacted by shelters or host homes and offer services designed to “resolve the conflict and accomplish a reunification of the family,” according to the bill text. Family reunification efforts would be pursued when possible, according to Washington state Sen. Marko Liias, a Democrat who was the bill’s primary sponsor.
“The law is going to have a positive impact for youth around the state who need housing and stability at a really difficult moment,” Liias told the AP.
It's an understatement to point out that more than a few people are concerned over what could come about due to the new law:
- "Get your kids out of public schools NOW...I don't care what your excuse is but get them out of public schools," one Twitter user declared.
- "I’m not even sure how this waste of time turned into a bill, but now families with confused teenagers may want to consider moving away from WA to avoid this potential risk of the states new power," another commenter suggested.
- "The laws are going to encourage children to run away from home," another user predicted. "Especially if the Dems are saying [it's] true and parents are oppressing their own children’s sexual desires… lmao."
- "This is a horrible attack on families and an evil attempt to separate children from their parents," another commenter said.