August 6, 2022 – SACRAMENTO – Wednesday, Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) legislation to provide refuge for trans children and their families, Senate Bill 107, passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee by a vote of 12-4. He will now head to the Assembly floor. SB 107 will protect trans children and their families if they flee to California from Alabama, Texas, Idaho, or any other state that criminalizes parents of trans children for allowing them to receive gender-affirming care. If these parents and their children come to California, the law will prevent them from having their children taken away or being criminally prosecuted for supporting their trans children’s access to health care.
SB 107 is co-sponsored by Equality California, Planned Parenthood and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis.
“California must stand with LGBTQ children and their families, especially when they are under attack across the country,” said Senator Wiener. “SB 107 ensures that California is a safe haven state for trans children and their parents, so they can be safe here. Parents should never be separated from their children or criminalized for simply allowing them to be who they are. We need to stay strong in our support for the LGBTQ community and support LGBTQ youth.”
This legislation has inspired 19 other states to introduce similar “trans haven states” bills, as trans children and their parents are currently under attack through executive and legislative action in Texas, Idaho, Louisiana, Arizona and in other states. For example, under far-right anti-LGBTQ Governor Greg Abbott, Texas began investigating, and potentially prosecuting, parents of trans children who receive gender-affirming care. Governor Abbott also directed state agencies to consider removing trans children from their parents and placing them in foster care. While Governor Abbott’s directive was temporarily suspended by a state court, the state is appealing that decision. In the same way. Alabama has enacted a law to jail parents and doctors for up to 10 years for authorizing or providing gender-affirming care to trans children.
Given recent trends in anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion legislation, other Republican-controlled states will no doubt pursue similar legislation and executive action.
The SB 107 has three main components:
1) It prohibits the application of any law of another state that authorizes a state agency to remove a child from his or her parent or guardian on the basis of the parent or guardian allowing his or her child to receive health care asserting their gender. The bill would prevent California law enforcement from cooperating with any out-of-state person or agency regarding the provision of lawful gender-affirming health care in that state. Thus, families will be able to come to California to avoid having their trans children kidnapped.
2) It prohibits compliance in California with any out-of-state subpoena requesting health information or other related information about people who come to California to receive gender-affirming care, if the subpoena concerns efforts to criminalize individuals or remove children from their homes for receiving gender-affirming care. Some states are considering legislation that would extend their criminal prohibitions even to residents who travel out of state to receive gender-affirming health care.
3) It prohibits the arrest or recognition of any request for extradition of an individual that criminalizes permitting a person to receive or provide gender-affirming health care where such conduct would not be unlawful under California law. He will state that it is California public policy that any out-of-state criminal arrest warrant for someone based on violation of another state’s law against receiving gender-affirming care is the lowest priority for law enforcement in California.
Trans youth already face many barriers to receiving the health care they need. Studies have shown that access to gender-affirming care for trans children reduces the risk of depression, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation. The criminalization of trans children and their parents leads to an increase in mental health problems and even suicides.
With SB 107, California will continue to be a leader in protecting the civil rights and basic dignity of LGBTQ people and will help trans children and their parents have a safe place to go if they are threatened with prosecution or criminalization to be who they are and seek the care they need.
SB 107 is co-authored by Senators Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) and John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), and Assembly Members Evan Low (D-Campbell), Alex Lee (D-San Jose), Chris Ward (D-San Diego), Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) and Mia Bonta (D- Alameda). Acting Senate President Toni G. Atkins (San Diego) and Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (D-Fairfield) are lead co-authors.
Source: Senator Scott Wiener