Once again declared a haven from discriminatory policies in conservative states, Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed off on a bill aimed at protecting transgender youth and their families from the ban on gender affirming sponsorship.
Senate Bill 107 by State Senator Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) provides a set of safeguards intended to prevent out-of-state attempts to penalize families who come to California to obtain medical treatment for transgender children and teens or move to the state to avoid the consequences of already seeking on this treatment elsewhere.
In a signature letter, Newsom said state laws that try to ban Medicare for transgender people under the age of 18 “demonize” society and are considered an act of hate.
“In California, we believe in equality and acceptance. We believe that no one should be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they need — including gender affirming care,” Newsom said. decisions about the health of their children without fear. We must take a stand on the choice of parents.”
The new law prohibits California courts and attorneys from executing subpoenas required by other states about gender confirmation care for minors, and health care providers from releasing medical information.
The bill also states that any potential out-of-state arrest warrant for violating laws related to such care will be given “the lowest priority for law enforcement.”
“While attacks on the transgender community are not new, we are witnessing disturbingly blatant attempts to use legislation, policies, and political rhetoric to limit or repeal the autonomy, freedom, and presence of transgender people across the country,” California Equality said. Statement of support for the bill.
The California bill comes next More than 20 states are led by Republicans Legislation has been introduced to criminalize gender-affirming medical care for young people, and to penalize parents and health-care providers who allow it.
Actual enactment of policies to limit this care has largely stalled as states face legal challenges at the federal level. In August, a federal appeals court in Arkansas It ruled that the state could not enforce its ban on transgender children who receive medical care that confirms their gender.
But Weiner said California cannot count on such barriers continuing.
“We don’t know what will apply on appeal or whether states will find other types of laws that can make it to the courts,” Weiner said in an interview before the law was passed. “It would be utter neglect to say we won’t do anything until one of these laws is upheld and someone is imprisoned.”
Whether SB 107 itself will be upheld in court is also in question due to federal requirements that states must recognize out-of-state when residents travel.
Last-minute amendments to the bill include a clause on severability because it is “unclear whether this bill would be inconsistent with the Constitution,” according to a legislative analysis of the measure. Severability allows parts of the law to remain in effect even if other provisions are repealed.
Wiener acknowledged this ambiguity, and said the bill was carefully worded to avoid violations of the US Constitution, but said California should not act as “a law enforcement arm of the states of Texas or Alabama.”
“We may have restrictions under the United States Constitution, but we’ll go to the edge of what we can do to protect them and say, unless we absolutely have to send you back, we’re not going to go to the potential families of young transgender people who might come to California,” he said.
California has also designated itself as a “sanctuary country.” For those seeking an abortionwhich was banned by several states after the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that granted statutory right to the action.
As with California’s attempt to support out-of-state residents seeking abortion, the impact of SB 107 is difficult to estimate because many people in other states do not have the option or the money to suddenly move to California.
“We can’t solve everything in one bill. We make sure that people who are being decriminalized have somewhere to go,” Weiner said. “This bill is about giving people sanctuary.”
Gender affirmation care includes a range of “social, psychological, behavioral, and medical interventions designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity,” according to the World Health Organization.
This can include hormones and puberty blockers, depending on the age of the child. The World Professional Assn. For Transgender Health recommends some surgeries for patients starting at age 15, according to New guidelines were released in June.
Conservative groups opposed the bill. The California Family Council, which routinely opposes LGBT rights legislation, said SB 107 encourages “medical abuse of children.”
Senator Brian Daley (R-Bieber), who is running against Newsom for governor, said children “don’t really know what they are,” and said the legislation would plunge the state into family custody battles.
“If one parent is for it and the other is against it, the state will now be in the middle of that decision,” Dahlley said on the Senate floor before the vote against the measure. “This bill essentially puts the state in your house.”
Among the supporters of the bill was presenter Eleni Konalakis, ATI. General Rob Ponta, Planned Parenthood affiliate in California and Equity California.