Karine Jean-Pierre
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California Is Now a Legal Refuge for Trans Youth Seeking Care

Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill into law making his state one of refuge for transgender youth and their families.

Given that some states have enacted laws aimed at keeping trans youth from accessing gender-affirming care, the California legislation is intended to help protect those who come to the state to seek care.

Senate Bill 107 prohibits the release of information on a young person’s gender-affirming care in response to a criminal or civil action based on another state’s law that authorizes such actions. It also bars law enforcement agencies from knowingly arresting or extraditing someone based on another state’s law against providing, receiving, or allowing a child to receive gender-affirming care.

It further bans the enforcement of a court order “based on another state’s law authorizing a child to be removed from their parent or guardian” for allowing the child to receive such care, as the bill states.

“We believe that no one should be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they need — including gender-affirming care,” Newsom said in a statement, according to NBC News, after signing it last Thursday. “With the signing of this bill, California will ensure that these kids and their families can seek and obtain the medical and mental health care that they need.”

State Sen. Scott Wiener, who introduced the bill, praised its final enactment in a tweet.

Alabama and Arkansas have passed laws banning the provision of gender-affirming care to minors, but both are blocked from enforcement while lawsuits against them proceed. The Alabama law provides for criminal penalties, the Arkansas one for professional discipline. Texas officials have ordered that parents who allow their children to receive such care be investigated for child abuse, but that order is also largely blocked by court action.

Many right-wing politicians and commentators continue to speak out against gender-affirming care for youth — often using misinformation — even though this care is endorsed by major medical associations. There have been several incidents of hospitals being harassed for providing such care.

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