California could provide legal refuge to displaced transgender youth and their families under a proposal announced on Thursday.
Democratic state lawmakers said they will introduce legislation to offer California as a safe haven for parents in other states who risk having their transgender children taken away or from being criminally prosecuted for supporting their children’s access to gender-affirming procedures and other health care.
California Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener said his bill would ensure that “California is a place of refuge for transgender children and their parents as a wave of criminalization sweeps through Texas and other states.”
“They have a safe place to go if they’re threatened with prosecution,” he added. “California will not be a party to this new wave of deadly LGBTQ criminalization.”
Jonathan Keller, who is president of the conservative California Family Council, responded to the proposal by citing the story of a woman who said last week that her 16-year-old daughter killed herself while receiving gender-affirming treatment against her mother’s wishes.
The mother spoke during a forum by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank, entitled Protecting Our Children: How Radical Gender Ideology is Taking Over Public Schools & Harming Kids.
“California should not be complicit in the sterilization and permanent disfigurement of American’s children,” Keller said.
Wiener’s approach is similar to the provisions in another pending California bill responding to efforts in other states to restrict abortions. It would ban the enforcement of civil judgments against doctors who perform abortions on patients from other states. It’s among several measures designed to make California a sanctuary for people seeking or providing abortions.
Similar to the abortion bill, the transgender bill would reject any out-of-state court judgments removing transgender children from their parents’ custody because they allowed their children to receive gender-affirming healthcare.
The judgments in other states wouldn’t be enforced in California, families could move to California to avoid having their children taken away from them.
Supporters of the California bill said efforts to suppress transgender youth can lead to fear and mental health issues including depression and suicidal thoughts. “Families will be separated and children will die because of these policies,” said Alexis Sanchez, director of advocacy and training at the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS