VIRGINIA, USA — Virginia Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Prince William) says she will not reintroduce a bill that would reportedly penalize parents who do not affirm their children's gender identity or sexual orientation. Her decision follows multiple reports that she planned to move forward legislation in the upcoming general assembly.
Her response comes after backlash following an interview with a local ABC affiliate news station was picked up by conservative outlets and prominent Republicans including U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
On Thursday, Guzman told WJLA that she wanted to push back on Gov. Glen Youngkin's proposed model policy on the treatment of transgender students.
"The day Governor Youngkin wanted to implement this policy, I immediately texted the policy lead of that committee and said, 'this how we're going to push back.'"
House Bill 580, which was introduced in 2020, intended to expand the definition of child abuse and neglect by including parents or guardians who "inflicted upon such child a physical or mental injury on the basis of the child's gender identity or sexual orientation."
Guzman's team told WUSA9 that the bill is intended to protect LGBTQ+ children.
News about the reintroduction of HB580 fired up conservatives including Sen. Cruz who said, “utterly horrifying. These zealots think they are your children’s parents, and they’ll put you in jail if you disagree.”
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called the bill "unthinkable," adding on Twitter, "join me today to stand up for parental rights. Your children are not wards of the state."
Guzman told WUSA9 she does not plan to move the bill forward and did not agree to an interview to clarify Thursday's remarks.
The delegate that represents parts of Prince William and Fauquier counties took to Twitter calling the original report a "misleading news piece" and that the station had "mischaracterized a pro-safety, anti-abuse bill."
WJLA released the raw footage of the interview where reporter Nick Minock is heard asking Guzman, "Will you be reintroducing this bill coming this general assembly?"
The lawmaker responded, "Yes, we are having political conversations right now with the house democratic caucus, and we are having those conversations now."
The offices of the several patrons of the 2020 bill told WUSA9 that the bill does not have the support to pass it and that the Republican House Speaker will never put it up for a vote. Delegate Guzman still stands by the original purpose of the legislation.
The office of multiple patrons involved in the 2020 legislation told WUSA9 that they have not been in conversations with Guzman's office and that they do not plan to push the plan forward in the next general session.
The general assembly website does not have the bill slated for 2023 session.
Editor's note: This story has been updated.