California could become a legal refuge for transgender youth and their families under threat in other states for gender-affirming surgeries and other transgender medical care under legislation introduced Thursday.
The bill, introduced by State Sen. Scott Wieners (D), would legally protect parents who support their childrens access to transgender health care by blocking out-of-state court judgements removing the children from their parents custody.
Wiener said at a Thursday press conference that his measure seeks to guarantee that “California is a place of refuge for transgender children and their parents as a wave of criminalization sweeps through Texas and other states.”
Several states in recent months have sought to criminalize gender-affirming health care for minors.
In Texas, Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottMichigan AG: ‘Paxton is a walking hate crime’ Texas mail ballot rejections soar under new restrictionsIdaho Senate Republicans kill bill banning trans medical careMORE (R) has directed state agencies to consider placing transgender children in foster care, though a judge last week temporarily blocked the effort. State Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) previously said that parents support of transgender youths access to treatments equated to child abuse.”
Idahos House of Representatives recently approved a bill that aimed to criminalize parents consenting to, or medical professional providing, medical treatment for transgender youth, as well as parents and children crossing state lines to receive the care. The state Senate killed the bill, saying medical decisions should be made by the parents.
“We know other red states will, no doubt, be considering these bills as well,” Wiener said of such policies. They all copy each other and it spreads like wildfire around the country.”
Under Wieners bill, courts would not be able to subpoena information about anyone who traveled to California to receive gender-affirming care. It would also flag warrants related to someone from out of state receiving treatment as a low priority for law enforcement.
Wiener previously authored a law requiring transgender people in prison to be housed in accordance to their gender identity.
Studies show that transgender youth are at a higher risk of suicide and negative mental health consequences if they are not given access to gender-affirming care. Access to puberty blockers proved to decrease the risk of suicide in teens.