EXCLUSIVE: Dem NY lawmaker Brad Hoylman 'worked really closely' with California's Scott Wiener to co-introduce 'Trans Safe Haven' bill to 'welcome trans kids'

The bill now heads to Governor Kathy Hochul's office for her signature.


New York State took another step toward becoming a trans “sanctuary state” after the Democratic-controlled Assembly passed Bill S2475B, known as the "Trans Safe Haven" bill. The bill, sponsored by Brad Hoylman, having passed both the Assembly and the Senate moves to Governor Kathy Hochul's desk, where she will undoubtedly sign it. It aims to "provide legal protection for families seeking gender-affirming care and the doctors who provide it."

The bill bears many similarities to a bill passed in California, sponsored by Scott Wiener. That bill, as with New York's latest offering, makes it possible for states to ignore the laws of other states. If a parent brings a child to New York, under the new bill, for the purpose of gender transition, but violates a custody agreement to do it, New York will not extradite or enforce that custody agreement.

"We actually worked really closely with Scott Wiener's office to co-introduce that legislation at the same time," a spokesperson from Hoylman's New York office told The Post Millennial in an October call.

"So it's different," she said, "in terms of how California's law is different than New York state's law. But most of the ideas are the same. And then we're going to be amending it soon so that it more closely mirrors exactly what the final amendments of the abortion language were. So that, y'know, it's already been passed once in a different context in New York and we just want to conform."

Seeking clarification, The Post Millennial asked if that means that if a parent comes to New York from a state that doesn't allow child sex changes, the parent and kids would not have to go back if there was an extradition concern having to do with custody.

"So it's basically saying that laws of another state that remove a child from parental care because of allowance for gender affirming care won't be enforced or admissible in a New York court," Hoylman's office confirmed. "And that our local law enforcement will cooperate with an out of state agency regarding legal gender affirming care that was performed in this state in New York."

The bill, she said, "is specifically with regard to the criminalization of gender affirming care in other states, and ensuring that New York state isn't contributing to that criminalization."

The bill “prohibits consideration of a law of another state that authorizes a child to be removed from their parent or guardian based on the parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming care in custody cases.” 

The legislation prohibits law enforcement agencies from “cooperating with or providing information to any individual or out-of-state agency or department regarding the provision of lawful gender-affirming care performed in this state.” 

"Gender affirming care" is defined as "any type of care provided to an individual to affirm their gender identity or gender expression; provided that surgical interventions on minors with variations in their sex characteristics that are not sought and initiated by the individual patient are not gender-affirming care." In other words, surgeries on a person who is intersex that are initiated by a parent or guardian are not "gender affirming," but surgering on minors who do not have "variations" are "gender affirming."

Additionally, the bill “prohibits the issuance of a subpoena in connection with certain out-of-state proceedings relating to seeking health or related information about people who come to New York to receive gender-affirming care” and “prohibits the arrest of a person for performing or aiding in the lawful performance of gender-affirming care” within New York such as “gender-affirming care providers” and health care providers. 

The legislation also “…prohibits insurance providers from taking adverse action against a health-care provider who provides gender-affirming care.”

According to the “justification” for the bill provided by the Legislature, "Across the country, states are proposing criminal sentences for parents who allow their kids to receive gender-affirming care and for physicians who provide it.” 

“As of March 2022, some estimates showed that 58,200 transgender youth are at risk of losing access to crucial care because of these state bans and policies. Research shows that access to gender-affirming care for transgender young people reduces risk for depression, psychological distress, and suicidal ideation.  Transgender young people already face extreme barriers when it comes to getting the care they need, from stigma to discrimination, systemic hurdles, and lack of insurance coverage for care.”

“Criminalizing guardians and physicians who help these young people receive this critical care makes it even harder.” 

“This legislation will make New York a haven for transgender kids and families whose rights are under attack nationwide by ensuring that kids cannot be separated from their parent or guardian for their help in getting their kid gender affirming care, would prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with other states' investigations regarding gender affirming care that took place legally, protects the health information of people who come to New York to receive gender affirming care, and protects physicians who provide gender affirming care in New York.”

“While states across the country criminalize and roll back access to gender affirming care, New York continues to pass progressive policies that expand access to gender affirming care. This bill will help New York combat state policies that attempt to ban gender affirming care and punish kids, their families, and their providers beyond their borders.”

The bill now heads to Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul for signature.

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