Earlier this week, the California legislature passed a bill to designate the state a “refuge” for transgender children and their families.
The bill, which will now head to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom, was introduced earlier this year by state Sen. Scott Wiener.
Wiener represents San Francisco and parts of San Mateo County.
“California must stand with LGBTQ kids and their families, especially when they’re under attack across the country,” he said in a statement. “Parents should never be separated from their kids or criminalized for simply allowing them to be who they are.”
The bill first passed in the State Assembly and then went through the State Senate.
It was filed after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to “conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances” of “so-called ‘sex change’ procedures,” which “constitutes child abuse under existing Texas law.”
California’s bill would prevent the arrest or extradition of an individual in California for violating another state’s law about gender-affirming care.
A state agency would also be prohibited from removing a child from their parent or guardian for violating the law of another state related to the care.
The bill prohibits insurance companies, healthcare providers, and contractors from releasing “medical information” related to the minor’s “gender-affirming health care” if the info is being “requested pursuant to another state’s law” that would enable “civil action against a person or entity who allows a child to receive gender-affirming health care.”
“If these parents and their kids come to California, the legislation will help protect them from having their kids taken away from them or from being criminally prosecuted for supporting their trans kids’ access to health care,” said Wiener.
Wiener said that 19 other states have introduced similar legislation to become sanctuaries for transgender children and their families.
Ever since its introduction, the bill has been met with opposition.
In July, California Family Council Director Greg Burt said “this bill declares war on parents throughout the country who don’t want their children sterilized because of their gender dysphoria, a condition that resolves itself in most cases after a child reaches adulthood.”
“Senator Wiener thinks he is making the state a safe haven for kids, but if passed, he will turn California into a threat to every family in the country,” he added.
The president and founder of Protect Our Kids, Mark Schneider, said the bill “would elevate the dangerous practice of ‘gender-affirming health care’ to a legal status never before granted to a state jurisdiction.”
Several detransitioners spoke out against the legislation and its dangers.
“As a de-transitioner that has testified across from Scott Weiner on this bill, I can say that this bill has many unintended consequences, many intended consequences that are immoral, and will take away rights from parents across the entire US,” said Chloe Cole.
“I will never be able to breastfeed a child. I have blood clots in my urine. I am unable to fully empty my bladder. I do not yet know if I’m capable of carrying a child to full term. In fact, even the doctors who put me on puberty blockers and testosterone do not know,” Cole explained.
One parent addressed the legislature, saying “my daughter thought that she was transgender for two years but changed her mind.” “Thankfully I did not medicalize her.”