Legislation over gender pronouns and identity notifications heads to General Assembly

At the Virginia State Capitol Thursday, there was a push for Sage’s Law.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 2:36 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:21 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - At the Virginia State Capitol Thursday, there was a push for Sage’s Law. The legislation would require schools to tell parents if a student self-identifies as a gender different from the student’s biological sex.

“Parents, you are not alone. This mother stands with you. We love our children more than any counselor, judge or teacher. They have no business teaching our children what gender they are,” said Michelle Blair, Sage’s mother.

The law is named after Sage, from Appomattox, whose parents say if they had been told the teen used different pronouns and bathrooms in school, Sage wouldn’t have spent years caught in sex trafficking. She’s now at home recovering.

“I tell her she’s not broken. She’s just scared. She hopes that her story will help save the lives of other children. Sage does not want any more children to have to suffer through the consequences that she survived,” said Blair.

Under the change, counselors would need to share pronoun information with parents and misgendering a student would not be considered abuse or neglect on the parent’s part.

“What it does is it puts kids in harm’s way. You don’t know what their home situation is like, and if you have a one size fits all solution for this, you’re actually creating a larger problem,” said Del. Danica Roem, (D) 13th District.

Virginia Democrats say the legislation has a zero chance of passing.

They control the senate and are working on a series of measures to protect LGBTQ rights.

“If you don’t include the very community that you’re trying to legislate, you know about in this case, then you’re going to have blind spots,” said Del. Roem.

The bill still has to be assigned to a committee.