Rep. Chris Corry fights to protect parents’ rights

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Rep. Chris Corry fights to protect parents’ rights

Following a late-night debate Wednesday, the House passed a bill that exempts shelters and host homes for runaway children from having to notify parents when their children are seeking gender affirming care or reproductive health services.

Rep. Chris Corry, R-Yakima, spoke firmly against Senate Bill 5599, pointing out to majority Democrats pushing the bill as a way to protect trans youth and others in volatile home situations that existing laws already exist to protect minors from abuse or neglect.

“What this bill does is create a new list of circumstances where it’s okay not to tell parents where their kids are,” said Corry. “As a parent, I find that terrifying.”

“I can envision a scenario where a child and their parents have an argument over one of the enumerated topics listed in the bill,” said Corry during debate on the House floor. “Not abuse, not neglect but a disagreement that ends with the teen slamming their door and the parents slam theirs, and when that parent wakes up in the morning their child is gone. I know I, like most parents, would be doing all I could to find my child, but under this bill there would now be a reason not to tell parents – who are not abusing their kids – where their kids are.”

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.

“We do not have a right as a state to come in and tell parents they do not have a right to know where their kids are over a disagreement,” said Corry. “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.” 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.

WATCH: Rep. Chris Corry’s floor speech on Senate Bill 5599 here

WATCH: Assistant Floor Leaders Rep. Chris Corry and Rep. Peter Abbarno here

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov