California to become refuge state for Trans youth in the US

The bill signed into law in California will protect Trans youth and their families from out-of-state subpoenas.

A flag of the state of California, which has passed a bill to protect Trans youth fleeing other US states, and a US flag.
Image: Via Unsplash - Drei Kubik

California governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill on September 30 to offer legal refuge to Trans youth and their families fleeing from conservative US states that are enacting anti-Trans legislation.

In recent months, Republican lawmakers have consistently introduced anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in an increasing number of US states, with the majority of bills aimed at stripping Trans individuals of their rights. From sports bans to laws prohibiting access to gender-affirming care, LGBTQ+ activists have called 2022 “the worst year in recent history for LGBTQ state legislative attacks”.

In response to the current situation, California Senator Scott Wiener introduced Senate Bill 107, which was then signed into law by Governor Newsom. The new law will make California a safe state for Trans youth and their families trying to get out of states that are enacting anti-Trans legislation, by blocking out-of-states subpoenas related “to efforts to criminalise individuals or remove children from their homes for having received gender-affirming care”.

It will also prevent healthcare providers from sharing information related to gender-affirming care with out-of-state entities, effectively making the state a safe haven for Trans youth. The bill will come into effect on January 1 next year.

In a statement published on his website, Senator Wiener shared: “As so many states work to erase trans kids and criminalise their families, California must always have their backs”. He added, “With SB 107 signed into law, California is forcefully pushing back against the anti-LGBTQ hatred spreading across parts of our nation. The rainbow wave is real, and it’s coming. Thank you, Governor Newsom, for standing with our community.”

In his own statement, Newsom said: “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”.

The law was mostly created to combat a bill introduced in Texas by Republican Governor Greg Abbott that treats gender-affirming care as “child abuse”, ordering investigations on parents who are supportive of their kids’ Trans identities, though it is now temporarily blocked by an injunction. According to Wiener, Senate Bill 107 has already inspired similar proposals in 19 other US states.

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