Lawmakers in 19 States Introduce Legal Protections for Trans Kids from Civil and Criminal Penalties for Seeking Gender-Affirming Care

Marchers wave flags as they walk at the St. Pete Pier during a rally and march to protest against a bill dubbed by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill Saturday, March 12, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Florida lawmakers have passed the bill, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It now moves to the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.
(Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

By Oliver Camarena and Cheyenne Galloway

SACRAMENTO, CA – California State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), along with the LGBTQ Victory Institute, Equality California and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California announced this week trans refuge legislation in 19 states in response to anti-trans laws in states like Alabama and Texas.

Senator Weiner’s bill, SB107, can be seen here.

The laws introduced will shield trans kids and their family from criminal and civil penalties when seeking gender-affirming care and serve as a direct counter to the anti-trans laws that’ve been passed by nearly 22 states.

Anti-trans legislation such one passed in Alabama and signed into law by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, targets trans children and their families, said Wiener, noting similar laws aim to prevent the medical safety of trans children, and threaten doctors with criminal prosecutions and jail time for providing or simply suggesting medical care to trans-identifying youth under the age of 19.

Trans refuge legislation has already been introduced in California by Senator Wiener, in New York by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Harry Bronson, and in Minnesota by Senator Scott Dibble to counter anti-trans laws.

In total, 21 legislators, representing a total of 19 states, have committed to introducing trans protection bills in states across the U.S.

Wiener’s coalition said trans refuge legislation will ensure the safety of trans children and their families while seeking “gender-affirming care” in 19 states, including: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

Several senators, mayors and members of LGBTQ organizations spoke on the national institution of trans refuge legislation in response to the anti-trans laws that are appearing in several states.

Wiener notes the novelty of this legislation, and the stipulations it has in order to ensure the safety of trans communities while combating anti-LGBTQ communities and legislation.

Wiener explained, “We are building a coordinated national legislative campaign by LGBTQ lawmakers — a rainbow wall — to provide refuge for trans kids and their families.”

This fight continues as President Biden announced that his administration will stand up to “hateful” transgender bills being introduced and passed at the state level.

“When trans kids’ lives are on the line, playing defense doesn’t cut it. It’s time to play offense. We are using the collective power of LGBTQ state legislators all across the nation to launch a counter-offensive that aims to protect trans kids and parents while also demonstrating that there is a positive agenda for trans people that lawmakers can support,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, who also called for the support from trans allies in both states that have pro and anti-trans legislation being enacted.

About The Author

Oliver is a fourth year student at the University of California, Davis pursuing a bachelors degree in political science. He is a transfer student from Porterville College and has associate degrees in both political science and social science. After graduation, Oliver plans to take a gap year before attending law school.

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