As the battle over parental rights and protections for LGBT students heats up in Virginia, one state delegate said she will introduce a bill in the legislature’s next session that would make it a crime for a parent or guardian not to affirm their child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The move is in response to Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s updated “model policies” on transgender students, which require students to use bathrooms and join sports teams based on their sex at birth, as opposed to their gender identity.
Democratic Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman told WJLA on Thursday she will introduce a bill that will expand the state’s definition of child abuse and neglect to include parents and guardian who do not affirm their LGBT children.
“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 told the local news outlet.
“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 did not respond to questions from Fox News Digital about the details of her legislation.
In her interview with WJLA, Guzman did not explain what she meant by affirming LGBT children.
Youngkin’s embrace of parental rights helped propel him to an upset victory over former democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe last year.
The Virginia Department of Education’s new “model policies” that were announced last month argued that the guidelines under the previous administration “disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles that significantly impact how schools educate students, including transgender students.”
“This is about restoring power to parents,” Youngkin told Fox News last month.
“And let’s just be clear, children do not belong to the state. They belong to families. And when a child is wrestling with this kind of decision, a parent should absolutely be the primary counselor adviser and help her in wrestling with this decision.”