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California Is Officially the First Sanctuary State for Trans Youth

We all need some good news to close out the week, and here it is: California is now the first sanctuary state for transgender youth in the U.S.

On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is currently running for reelection against Republican challenger Brian Dahle, signed into law SB 107, blocking states with anti-trans laws from prosecuting families who seek gender-affirming care in California. The law, which was introduced by state senator Scott Wiener in April, takes several measures to protect families of trans youth who flee their home states due to legal threats or investigations in states including Florida and Texas.

Under the new legislation, no subpoenas based on out-of-state laws that “interfere with a person’s right to allow a child to receive gender-affirming health care” will be honored or issued; doctors are no longer compelled to disclose a trans child’s medical information if the request is made in relation to a law prohibiting gender-affirming care; and state courts are now granted emergency jurisdiction over child custody cases in the event that the child or family is fleeing such a law or investigation.

In a signing message issued Thursday, Gov. Newsom wrote that the “hate demonstrated by these laws is unfathomable […] California will ensure these kids and their families can seek and obtain the medical and mental health care they need.”

“States like Texas & Alabama are seeking to tear these families apart. California won’t be party to it,” Sen. Wiener Tweeted on Friday, sharing the governor’s message. “We have your backs.”

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