Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Thursday making California a “sanctuary state” for families seeking medical services related to child gender transitions as other states restrict those procedures.
The new law aims to protect parents and their children from legal ramifications for pursuing cross-sex medical treatments that are illegal for minors in their home states, according to the bill’s sponsor, according to Democratic California State Sen. Scott Wiener. The legislation will block California courts from enforcing out-of-state court orders revoking custody for parents who allowed their children to get illegal sex changes.
“States like Texas & Alabama are seeking to tear these families apart,” Wiener wrote after Newsom signed his bill. “California won’t be party to it. We have your backs.”
The law also weakens parental rights of those who aren’t supportive of sex changes for their kids and makes the enforcement of out-of-state arrest warrants for violations of child sex change bans the lowest law enforcement priority.
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Legislators added a severability clause at the last minute so that parts of the law can stay in effect if a court determines that other parts violate the U.S. Constitution, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We may have limits under the U.S. Constitution, but we are going to go right up to the edge of what we’re able to do to protect them and say, ‘Unless we are absolutely forced to send you back, we are not going to send you back,’” Wiener told the outlet in reference to children and their families who come to the state for sex change procedures.
“Senate Bill 107 is an extreme over-reaction to modest efforts by other states to prevent harm to minors,” the Protect Child Health Coalition wrote in its argument opposing the legislation. “[The bill] would create a series of unprecedented and dangerous exceptions to California law and customary practice regarding cooperation with other states’ legal proceedings.”
Several more conservative states have taken steps recently to restrict child gender transitions, including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is making an administration-wide push to ban child sex-change procedures, Texas is treating the procedures as a form of child abuse under existing state laws and Alabama banned them for minors outright.