All Democrats voted YES. All Republicans voted NO.
The Washington State Legislature passed Senate Bill 5599, which allows children to leave home and go to a licensed shelter if parents do not consent to their child’s gender transition desires.
Under current law, licensed shelters must notify parents if a child comes into their care, unless a compelling reason applies. This legislation allows licensed shelters to consider a child’s decision to change genders as a compelling reason.
The shelter can contact the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), instead of the parents, so long as the child wants to change gender and the parents oppose it.
Some parents believe their children are not competent to change genders before they reach maturity.
Democrat Washington State Senator Marko Liias said, “This legislation ensures that our trans youth have safe options and access to secure, stable shelter when they may not be welcome at home.”
Washington law presumes children are not legally competent to consent to sex until they are 16. They can vote when they are 18. They can smoke or drink alcohol when they reach 21.
They can change their gender at 13 without parental consent.
“This bill is an important step in ensuring young people across the state have a roof over their heads during an already challenging period in their life,” said Liias. “While we hope that every child has a supportive family that will provide them with acceptance and the care they need, it’s crucial that we provide housing options to those in crisis.”
Danni Askini, Executive Director of Gender Justice League, said, applauds: “This bill is such an important step towards protecting our at-risk youth in Washington. It takes immense courage and bravery for trans youth to come out to their family and ask for support. All young people in Washington State should have the right to be safe, true to themselves, and to live free of violence. This bill helps us ensure the safety and opportunity of some of the most vulnerable young people we work with.”
Social transition is the care offered to prepubertal children. Pubertal suppression and gender-affirming hormone therapy, which permanently sterilizes children, are available at age 13.
Double mastectomies are available to 16-year-olds. Genital surgeries can start around age 17, including womb and testicle removal.
Washington health insurers must cover “gender-affirming” care, including surgical treatments for children without parental consent. The law mandates insurers deal directly with the patient without requiring the policyholder’s authorization, then send the parent the bill.
Affirmative legal interventions allow a child to change their name and gender on legal documents. Much like the tobacco industry, services must be offered before a child matures, since he or she might outgrow it and decide not to smoke or change their gender.
These outreach to children measures improve access to care and increase economic stability for doctors, hospitals, clinics, and counselors that provide gender transition services.