SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — As a number of states pass anti-transgender laws, California could become a place of refuge for trans kids and their families.
Sen. Scott Wiener announced legislation Thursday making California a safe place for parents wanting to avoid having their trans kids taken away from them.
Governors and legislators in a number of states, including Texas, Idaho and Louisiana, are trying to make it illegal for parents to allow their children the right to get gender-affirming care.
Wiener’s law would protect those families if they come here to California.
Surrounded by trans youth and adults, Wiener announced the legislation that aims to protect parents in other states from having their trans kids taken away for letting them receive gender-affirming healthcare.
“Imagine signaling to a child that because of who you are, you’re going to be taken away from your parents and put in foster care and your parents are going to be thrown in jail,” Wiener said.
The legislation makes California a place of refuge through three main components:
- Rejecting out of state court judgements removing trans kids from their parent’s custody.
- It will bar compliance in California with any out of state subpoena seeking healthcare information about someone who comes to the state to receive gender-affirming car since some states are considering legislation to criminalize residents who travel out of state to receive that care.
- The legislation makes it public policy that any out-of-state criminal arrest warrant for someone violating a law against receiving gender-affirming care will be the lowest priority for California law enforcement.
Mimi Demissew is the executive director of Our Family Coalition, which has been providing services to trans people since 1996.
She understands that protections are needed for the trans community but is disheartened when those protections are challenged in some parts of the country.
Mimi demissew, ed our family coalition
“The simple thing is that we can’t the language or the conversation if we’re in Texas, verses Virginia, verses California. I think we just need to demand and complete equity. Otherwise, none of us are free,” Demissew said.
She wants to see more trans people brought into the conversation, like Co-Executive Director of the Gender Health Center in Sacramento Lauren Pulido.
Pulido spoke Thursday in support of Wiener’s legislation saying that gender-affirming care is both medically necessary and lifesaving.
“There is no one braver and more divine than a trans person that wants so desperately to be free that they live their truth in spite of the naysayers and the protesters who wish harm to us,” Pulido said.
The three-part legislation aimed to protect trans kids and their parents is co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood and Equality California.
“To transgender youth anywhere in the country and to your families who stand with you in affirmation,” Martin said. “Let this legislation reinforce your armor and your renewal.”
Wiener’s office says that legislation will be introduced to the full California senate later this month.