Lawmaker defends Va. bill intended to protect LGBTQ kids after ‘misleading’ report

Prince William County, Virginia, Delegate Elizabeth Guzman is defending a bill she says was inaccurately characterized in a recent WJLA report.

Guzman, whose district also covers parts of Fauquier County, says the bill is intended to protect children from child abuse because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The recent TV report by Nick Minock said the bill makes it possible for parents to face felony or misdemeanor charges if they don’t affirm their child’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Are you saying non-affirming parents are committing abuse against their children if they don’t affirm their gender identity or sexual orientation?” Minock asked during the televised report.

“No,” Guzman said, “I’m not saying that.”

Guzman responded on Twitter calling the report misleading, adding “to set the record straight on a misleading news piece from a Sinclair-owned affiliate that mischaracterized a pro-safety, anti-abuse bill.”

She continued, “The 2020 bill was a child safety bill that would have simply protected children from ‘physical or mental injury on the basis of the child’s gender identity or sexual orientation.’ The way the bill was presented in the article was patently wrong.”

The recent TV report description has led to pushback on both sides with some Republicans expanding “affirm” to include parents who don’t provide their children access to medical treatments.

The Virginia GOP responded online saying Guzman and Virginia Democrats “want to set the police on you and charge you with a felony if you refuse to give your kids puberty blockers and irreversible sex change surgery.”

Sen. Ted Cruz also took to Twitter, calling the bill “utterly horrifying.”

The bill does not describe denial of medical treatment as child abuse. The full, unedited interview has since been posted online.

House Minority leader Don Scott, Jr. says he spoke with Guzman and she has no intention of reintroducing the bill, the Washington Post reported.

WTOP news reached out to WJLA for comment, but didn’t receive a response ahead of this article’s publication.

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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