The California Assembly has advanced a bill that would make the state a safe haven for transgender youth.
Senate Bill 107 was introduced by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) in response to the rising number of conservative states introducing bans on healthcare access for transgender minors. It would provide refuge for parents from conservative states, who could risk prosecution for allowing their trans children to access gender-affirming care.
“Trans kids and their parents are being criminalized and used as political punching bags by right-wing zealots,” said Senator Wiener (D) in a statement reported by CBS News. “No one should ever have to worry about being separated from their child simply for allowing that child to be who they are.”
If passed, the bill would prohibit California from complying with out-of-state subpoena and extradition requests involving the parents and guardians of trans minors from those states, and would prevent California from enforcing the removal of trans minors from parents who help them seek gender-affirming care.
Conservative groups are critical of the legislation. Speaking to CBS, Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institution, a conservative non-profit, said that the bill would effectively allow “kidnapping children from conservative states.”
Numerous conservative states have introduced or passed legislation limiting or restricting the rights of transgender youth, including the right to access gender-affirming care. In 2021, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to enact such a ban; while the bill was vetoed by Republican governor Asa Hutchinson, the veto was later rejected by the state’s General Assembly.
On Monday, the California Assembly approved SB 107 by a vote of 48 to 16. It now goes to the Senate.