Democratic lawmakers in 19 states want to provide legal refuge for trans youth


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Democratic lawmakers in 19 states are pushing for laws that will provide legal refuge for displaced transgender youth and their families.

The coordinated effort is inspired by a bill proposed earlier this year by California lawmaker Scott Wiener.

“Today we are announcing that we are up to 19 states (!) to introduce legislation granting refuge to trans children and their families at risk of criminalization/separation,” Wiener tweeted. “We are building a (rainbow) wall against fascist homophobic/transphobic attacks on our community by states like TX.”

The move comes after a slew of transgender-related bills in red states. In Texas, for example, Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott called gender-claiming treatments “child abuse” and ordered Texas Child Protective to investigate all reported cases, though a judge temporarily blocked such cases. surveys.

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In Alabama last month, Governor Kay Ivey signed a law banning puberty-blocking drugs for minors. And last month, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill banning non-binary gender markers on birth certificates.

To combat such measures, lawmakers in Minnesota and New York recently introduced safe haven legislation modeled after the bill proposed by Senator Wiener in March. Democrats in 16 other states plan to do the same, though about half of their legislatures are out of session or not currently accepting new bills.

Wiener said he started hearing from other states after introducing his bill, which would overturn any out-of-state court judgments removing children from their parents’ custody because they authorized child care. gender affirming health. It would also make arrest warrants based on the alleged violation of another state’s law against receiving such care the lowest priority for California law enforcement.

FILE: State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, discusses his proposed measure to provide legal refuge for displaced transgender youth and their families during a press conference in Sacramento, Calif., March 17, 2022 .
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

“We’re tired of just playing defense against what these red states are doing,” Wiener told The Associated Press. “We are going on the attack, we are going to protect LGBQT children and their families and we are going to build a rainbow wall to protect our community.”

Wiener said it’s despicable that a family should consider moving to a new state to protect a child, but if that happens, he hopes as many states as possible will welcome them.

“When your child is threatened with eviction from your home, families are going to consider many different options, and we just want to be clear that if you decide this is the option for you, we will do whatever what we can do to welcome you and protect you,” he said.

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LGBTQ lawmakers from Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, from Vermont, Washington and West Virginia are also joining the effort.

Brie Stimson, Stephen Sorace and Fox News’ Associated Press contributed to this report.


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