Rep. Jim Walsh issues statement on passage of bill threatening parental rights

During late-night floor debate, the House passed a bill denying notification to parents of runaway children seeking or receiving “protected health services” when entering a youth-related facility or host home.

Under Senate Bill 5599, children can stay at licensed youth shelters without their parent’s knowledge for an indefinite amount of time while seeking medical treatments like gender-transitioning services and medications―including puberty “blockers” that can lead to permanent sterilization.

19th District State Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, issued the following statement regarding the bill’s passage:

“Since the vote on SB 5599, I’ve been contacted by thousands of concerned Washingtonians about this attack on parents’ rights and families. Sponsors and supporters of this bill have overstepped the constitution and case law in promoting this policy, which would allow state bureaucrats to hide minor children from custodial parents and legal guardians. This bill is wrong—legally, ethically and morally.

“Among its many flaws, the bill assumes families that don’t ‘affirm’ a child’s short-term desires are being abusive. Wrong! Sometimes love requires parents to not affirm their child’s whims. Loving parents guide their children as they grow. Sometimes that means saying ‘no.’

“This is not the first policy approved this session that turns the power and machinery of state government against families. Lawmakers promoting these changes put wedges between children and their parents, grandparents and the people who love them.

“During floor debate, we heard the tired old cliche that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ That’s false. That notion has resulted in exploding crime rates, homelessness and rising teen suicide rates in Washington. Enough. Parents are the primary stakeholders in their children’s upbringing—not the government.”

SB 5599 was approved on a party-line vote of 57-39, 2 excused. The bill now heads to the Senate for a concurrence vote on the amended version of the bill.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov