Advocacy group issues travel advisory to parents over California and Minnesota ‘trans refuge’ bills

An advocacy and think tank organization issued a travel advisory to California and Minnesota after lawmakers passed legislation to override out-of-state parental rights. 

The American Principles Project (APP) is warning parents across the United States of the possibility of their parental rights being stripped away as recent legislation in California and Minnesota move to give state family courts the power to take temporary emergency jurisdiction over a minor coming into the state to access sex-change drugs or surgical procedures, regardless of if the minor is traveling from another state.

“Parents will do anything to protect our children. To lose your child and be powerless to prevent harm from coming to them would be any parent’s worst nightmare. Yet today, families traveling to California or Minnesota could be at risk for that awful scenario actually playing out — losing custody of their kids to an industry that aims to sterilize and mutilate their bodies,” APP President Terry Schilling said in a statement. “It is frightening, and enraging, to think such anti-family policies have taken hold here in the United States.”

“While we have seen great strides throughout the country by lawmakers fighting back against this agenda, we must still be realistic about where things stand. Right now, parents traveling to both these states with their children run a very real risk of having their families ripped apart,” Schilling added.

In September, California lawmakers passed Senate Bill 107 that established the state as a refuge for transgender children and their families. The bill was introduced earlier this year by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat. 

“California must stand with LGBTQ kids and their families, especially when they’re under attack across the country,” Wiener said in a statement. “Parents should never be separated from their kids or criminalized for simply allowing them to be who they are.”


In April, Minnesota lawmakers passed similar legislation that would establish the state as a “trans refuge” for children who are seeking transgender medical procedures but who may be denied “gender-affirming care” in other states.

In a party-line 68-62 vote, the Minnesota House passed HF 146, which had been introduced by Rep. Leigh Finke of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. Finke is the state’s first transgender lawmaker. The Minnesota Senate passed the legislation by a vote of 34-30 on Friday, April 21.

Additional legislation is being considered in California, AB-957, to require family courts to “strongly consider that affirming the minor’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child if a nonconsenting parent objects to a name and gender marker change to affirm conform to the minor’s gender identity.”

This bill would require the court to strongly consider that affirming the minor’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child if a nonconsenting parent objects to a name and gender marker change to affirm conform to the minor’s gender identity.


Schilling is encouraging parents to get informed and get organized, warning that, “the left is aiming to enact similar policies at the federal level and in all 50 states.”

“The left is aiming to enact similar policies at the federal level and in all 50 states. The only way to stop them is to make sure more Americans are informed about their plans and to defeat them electorally,” Schilling told Fox News Digital. “The good news is that most voters oppose the left’s anti-family agenda, but parents must continue to make their presence felt in politics to ensure anti-family forces do not ultimately succeed.”

Schilling’s shared that there are legislators on both the federal and state levels working to fight for parental right. 

“While more still needs to be done, it’s good to see at least some legislators are making an attempt to fight back on behalf of parents,” Schilling said. 

In March, the Republican-majority in Congress passed the Parents Bill of Rights which, among other things, moved to dictate school’s to notify parents on the schools’ transgender student policies.

The legislation would require schools to inform parents if a school allows transgender students to participate in sports that don’t match the gender a student was given at birth. It would also require schools to tell parents if transgender students are allowed to use bathrooms that don’t correspond with the gender a student was given at birth.


Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed several new bills into law, including a ban on transgender treatments for children and legislation regarding the use of pronouns in schools. 

One of the bills signed by DeSantis, SB 254, prohibits anyone under age 18 from undergoing sex-reassignment surgeries or taking prescription-based cross-sex hormones to treat gender dysphoria. The bill would also make permanent a state rule banning Medicaid from reimbursing people of all ages who undergo the procedures.

“This will permanently outlaw the mutilation of minors. It will outlaw the surgical procedures and experimental puberty blockers for minors,” he said prior to signing SB 254. “It will also require any adults receiving these surgeries to be informed about the irreversible nature and about the dangers of the procedures. It will give the courts temporary jurisdiction to intervene and halt procedures for out-of-state children.”

Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo and Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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