Superb job by Del. Danica Roem on the House of Delegates floor yesterday, demolishing far-right-extremist Del. Dave LaRock’s HB2432 (“Minors and students self-identifying as a gender different from biological sex; counseling; parental notification; parental care.“). See below for a transcript and video.
“Mr. Speaker, if the delegate would like examples of students, of children, who have been forced out of their homes after they were outed themselves go talk go right down the
stream go to side by side; go to Virginia Beach and go talk to one of the youth homeless centers over there and talk to those kids about what’s happened. If you want experiences, if you want to hear lived experiences from the very kids who this bill would affect, go talk to the kids who were kicked out of their homes and
who were beaten for being outed against their own will.
May I also remind the delegate that, as the delegate mentions one amicus brief which very politely was shoved underneath my door yesterday so thank you for that, what I would also say with this is that we have existing precedent within federal court as well. I would point to Sterling versus Borough of Minersville in this case from 2000, in which they actually stated in this case that someone’s sexual orientation in that case happens to be protected information, that you don’t get to just forcibly out that just because someone is young. And it is not a stone’s throw to think that the same goes for gender identity, which can be an even more toxic situation.
And Mr. Speaker, I would remind you and I would remind the delegates across the aisle here that when you had a 66 to 34 majority in 2017, HB 1612 from my predecessor had the same concept of forcibly outing students who were transgender, and what what happened your own party killed that bill, your own party killed that bill in subcommittee and what happened later that fall, the people of Haymarket, Gainesville, Manassas, Manassas Park fired that delegate and replaced him with the first out…trans state legislator in the country because they were tired of dealing with stuff like this, they were tired of having to hear kids being used as political props and thrown to the wolves where in a case like this, there is nothing in this bill, not a single thing in this bill that actually says, well maybe we’re going to take discretion, maybe in this we’re going to say that in one kid’s case it could be unsafe, maybe in one kid’s case it could get them hurt, maybe one kid’s case it is going to create an environment that’s not going to be welcoming for them and that leads to suicide, that leads to homicide, that leads to beatings, that leads to homelessness.
And when the delegate presented this in committee and made the entire case about human trafficking, number one the bill doesn’t
even say the words human trafficking in it whatsoever. But we have voted today on engrossment for bills that actually deal with human trafficking. But what I would also tell you with this Mr. Speaker is that when we are dealing with that case, what happens to homeless youth? Homeless youth are exponentially more likely to be victims of human trafficking, to be prostituted. We are dealing with dire consequences on a bill as reckless as this – forcibly outing kids regardless of the safety of their home, regardless of what’s going to happen to them when they get home. You can say you think that every single parent is going to love that child and I wish to god that was true, but if that was true, Child Protective Services wouldn’t exist in the first place.
Mr. Speaker, this is my sixth and final session here. And when I got here 2018, I thought we were done with all these anti-trans bills, I thought we were were finished with this and we were going to get on to the business of the Commonwealth. And what have we seen today, when the other side of the aisle has brought forward legislation dealing with anti-Semitism and our members, Jewish members actually presented their ideas that were rejected. When members wanted to legislate about the AAPI community and our AAPI members had an idea for how to make it better, how to make it more inclusive, and those ideas
were rejected. And now you’re dealing with forcibly outing trans kids and you didn’t even talk to the one person in this body who actually knows what it’s like to be scared to death as a 13 and 14-year-old kid of anyone finding out that you’re actually trans. You have no idea what you’re doing. You have no idea the harm you’re causing. These kids are watching this right now all across the Commonwealth. Do better for them.”