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California to become 'sanctuary state' for child gender transitions across the US under proposed law

The bill, titled simply "Gender-affirming health care," was brought forth by state Sen. Scott Wiener in January of 2021.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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California lawmakers are currently considering a bill, SB 107, that would make the state a safe haven for child gender procedures, prohibiting out of state law forces from acting on subpoenas, warrants, and child custody issues if the child was brought into the state for procedures like surgical gender reassignments or the prescribing of cross sex hormones.

The bill, titled simply "Gender-affirming health care," was brought forth by state Sen. Scott Wiener in January of 2021. Weiner was also behind a bill to place biological males in women's prisons, as well as opening heroin injection sites. He also moved to relax laws around the sex offender registry when they involve LGBTQ minors, decriminalize infecting someone with HIV without their knowledge, and make it harder for police to arrest prostitutes.

According to the bill’s text, it states that the legislation would prohibit any providers of health care, including insurance agencies and contractors, from releasing "medical information related to sensitive services or related to a person or entity allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care" if said information is being "requested pursuant to another state’s law that authorizes a person to bring a civil action against a person or entity who allows a child to receive gender-affirming health care."

The bill would also "prohibit law enforcement agencies from making, or intentionally participating in, the arrest of an individual pursuant to an out-of-state arrest warrant based on another state’s law against receiving or allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care."

California law enforcement agencies have been instructed in this bill to not "intentionally participate" in the arrest of a person for violating other state’s laws on children receiving a medical gender transition. These agencies will also not cooperate with outside state agencies in regards to providing information on this issue.

The bill does note though that this will not interfere with criminal investigations even if gender transition care is provided, but the state will not release information regarding the issue to other out of state agencies.

Extradition of an individual "charged with violating another state’s law that criminalizes allowing a person to receive or provide gender-affirming health care," would also be prohibited under this proposed law.

The law would also apply to child custody issues, stating that "The bill would prohibit the enforcement of an order based on another state’s law authorizing a child to be removed from their parent or guardian based on that parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming health care."

In subsection A of the bill, it states that "A court of this state has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to, or threatened with, mistreatment or abuse, or because the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care."

The law also states that in cases where the gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care to the child is at the center of the issue issue in regards to child custody, "a court of this state shall not determine that it is an inconvenient forum where the law or policy of the other state that may take jurisdiction limits the ability of a parent to obtain gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care for their child."

The bill says that the state will not honor or enforce "A law of another state that authorizes a state agency to remove a child from their parent or guardian based on the parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming health care" if a case is pending in California courts.

This bill has come under fire from opponents, include Chloe Cole, who has de-transitioned.

Speaking about her experience to the California state assembly, Cole recalled medically transitioning between the ages of 13 and 16, and how her parents and therapist affirmed her new gender identity as a male.

"And the therapist did not care about causality or encourage me to learn to be comfortable with my body. He brushed off my parents concerns about the efficacy of hormones, puberty blockers and surgeries," Cole said.

"Despite having therapists and attending the top surgery class, I really didn't understand all the ramifications of any of the medical decisions I was making," Cole said. "I wasn't capable of understanding and it was downplayed consistently. My parents on the other hand, were pressured to continue my so-called gender journey with a suicide threat."

"I will never be able to breastfeed a child. I have blood clots in my urine. I am unable to fully empty my bladder. I do not yet know if I'm capable of carrying a child to full term. In fact, even the doctors who put me on puberty blockers and testosterone do not know. SB 107 is circumventing state's laws, And have needed safeguards in place so my story is not repeated. Children cannot consent."

A California mother and attorney Erin Friday also spoke against the bill, saying the law "makes California the refuge for all children who want to get access to any kind of gender interventions. No questions asked, no real mental health assessment, minimal diagnosis, and no parental consent. So long as the minor child can get to California, she can order up any kind of irreversible treatment."

While the bill passed the state's Senate earlier this year, it has yet to pass through the Assembly, being referred back to a committee earlier this month.

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