California governor Gavin Newsom has once again fuelled speculation he might run for president next year after vetoing a controversial bill that would have required courts to consider, when ruling on custody, whether parents would ‘affirm’ the gender identity of their children.
In a rare use of his executive veto, Mr Newsom on Friday night local time (Saturday AEST) torpedoed California bill AB957 which had the overwhelming support of the Democratic Party in the biggest US state, passing its Democrat-controlled assembly 57 to 16 earlier this month.\
Yet the potential law had drawn harsh criticism, including from X-owner Elon Musk, at a time transgender rights have emerged as a hot political issue nationally. “What it actually means is that if you disagree with the other parent about sterilising your child, you lose custody,” Mr Musk said on X earlier this month.
Despite the governor’s denials of any plans to run, and public support for Mr Biden and Vice President and fellow Californian Kamala Harris, Mr Newsom remains the third most likely individual to become the next president, behind Joe Biden and Donald Trump, according to political betting market PredictIt.