Senator: California Assembly passes trans state of refuge bill


FILE – Demonstrators gather on the steps to the State Capitol to speak against transgender-related legislation bills being considered in the Texas Senate and House, May 20, 2021, in Austin, Texas. A federal ruling on Aug. 16, 2022, that gender dysphoria is covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, could help block conservative political efforts to restrict access to gender-affirming care, advocates and experts say. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

(NewsNation) — The California Assembly passed Senate Bill 107, or the bill known as the “trans state of refuge bill,” state Sen. Scott Wiener, the bill’s sponsor, announced on Twitter Monday night.

According to Wiener, the legislation allows for transgender children and their families to come to California if they are being criminalized in a different state.

“States like Texas are classifying gender-affirming care as child abuse and threatening to incarcerate parents. California won’t stand by,” Wiener, the state’s former chair of the LGBTQ Caucus, said.

The Democratic senator representing the San Francisco area said the bill aims to provide refuge for transgender kids and their families if they decide to flee to California from Alabama, Texas, Idaho or any other state criminalizing parents who let their children receive gender-affirming 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,” Wiener said.

“California must stand with LGBTQ kids and their families, especially when they’re under attack across the country,” Wiener continued. “SB 107 ensures that California is a refuge state for trans kids and their parents, so they can be safe here. Parents should never be separated from their kids or criminalized for simply allowing them to be who they are. We need to hold firm in our support for the LGBTQ community and stand with LGBTQ youth.”

The legislation has three key factors, as outlined. It prohibits California’s law enforcement from cooperating with any person or out-of-state agency regarding the provision of gender-affirming health care performed in California. The bill also bars compliance in California with any out-of-state subpoena that seeks health or other related information about people who come to California to receive gender-affirming care if it relates to criminalizing people or removing children from their parents. Finally, the bill does not allow for the arrest or recognition of extradition demands of a person if it is related to criminalizing someone who receives or provides gender-affirming care where it would not be unlawful in California.

SB 107 is cosponsored by Planned Parenthood, Equality California and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis.

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