Aug 30, 2022 - Politics & Policy

California lawmakers aim to create refuge for transgender youth

Participants march in the 2022 Long Beach Pride Parade on July 10, 2022, in Long Beach, California. Photo: Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

California's assembly advanced a bill Monday aimed at providing refuge for transgender youth and their families.

Why it matters: The "Refuge for Trans Kids" bill aims to protect families fleeing from states that criminalize parents who allow their trans children to receive gender-affirming care.

What they're saying: "California must stand with LGBTQ kids and their families, especially when they’re under attack across the country," said state Sen. Scott Wiener, who introduced the SB 107 bill, in a statement.

  • "Parents should never be separated from their kids or criminalized for simply allowing them to be who they are," he added.

Driving the news: The bill is in response to Republican-led states around the country introducing and passing laws targeting transgender youth, including in Texas — which passed legislation ordering state agencies to investigate parents for child abuse if they seek gender-affirming care for their kids.

By the numbers: About 43% of the U.S. transgender population is between the ages of 13 and 24, per a June report released by the UCLA Williams Institute.

Of note: The American Medical Association has endorsed gender-affirming care, Axios' Steph Solis writes.

  • The association asked governors last year to oppose legislation in their states limiting transgender health care for youth, calling it "medically necessary, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of transgender and gender-diverse people."

What's next: The bill will head to the California Senate for a final vote before lawmakers adjourn at the end of the month, per AP.

Go deeper: DOJ challenges Alabama law that bans gender-affirming care

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