Democratic legislators in 16 states committed to draft legislation that would provide legal protection to transgender adolescents and their families who have been displaced by discriminatory laws in their jurisdictions.
These states will join legislative initiatives already underway in California, New York, and Minnesota to give a coordinated response to a recent surge of legislation and measures prohibiting transgender minors from receiving gender-affirming care in conservative states such as Texas and Alabama.
“This attack on our community’s fundamental existence is something that we will not tolerate, and we’re going to fight and push back very, very hard,” California state Senator Scott Wiener said at an event with the LGBTQ Victory Institute and other civil rights organizations, announcing the partnership.
Wiener is the author of a California law that was filed in March and is being used as a model by other states. It would reject any out-of-state court order separating transgender children from their parents in circumstances when parents enable their children to obtain gender-affirming care despite local restrictions.
It would also prohibit compliance with any out-of-state subpoenas seeking health or other relevant information on anyone who travel to California for medical treatment, according to Wiener.
In many of the 16 states where legislative sessions have already ended, refuge legislation will have to wait, and it may find opposition in certain legislatures.
Nonetheless, according to Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, authorities must give “a very strong message” to trans adolescents and their families.
Parker replied, “We see you, we hear you, we support you, and we’re going to do all we can to keep you safe.”