Gavin Newsom pushes for California to become sanctuary state for transgender youth

“In California we believe in equality and acceptance,” Newsom says regarding his signing of Senate Bill 107

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published September 30, 2022 7:16PM (EDT)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference at The Unity Council on May 10, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference at The Unity Council on May 10, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom has put new legislature into effect that will make California the first sanctuary state for transgender youth. 

Senate Bill 107, which was signed by Newsom on Thursday, "aims to block states with anti-LGBTQ policies from initiating civil or criminal actions against parents helping their transgender kids access health care in California," according to The Sacramento Bee

Authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, Bill 107 was given the green light in late August and is a direct response against Republican leaning states seeking to criminalize gender affirming surgeries and drugs for minors.

"In California we believe in equality and acceptance," Newsom said in a message that coincided with his signing of Bill 107. "We believe that no one should be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they need — including gender-affirming care. Parents know what's best for their kids, and they should be able to make decisions around the health of their children without fear. We must take a stand for parental choice. That is precisely why I am signing Senate Bill 107."

In a statement of his own made via Twitter on Friday morning, Sen. Wiener said "BIG NEWS: @GavinNewsom signed into law our bill (SB 107) to offer refuge to trans kids & their families if they're being criminalized in their home states. States like Texas & Alabama are seeking to tear these families apart. California won't be party to it. We have your backs."

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"While small, hateful men like (Texas Gov.) Greg Abbott and (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis attack trans children and their families, Governor Newsom today made clear that California will welcome them with open arms. SB 107 officially makes California a state of refuge for trans kids and their families," said Equality California Executive Director Tony Hoang in a statement. "SB 107 will continue California's legacy of leadership in protecting and advancing the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ communities in a time when we cannot take our rights and protections for granted."

As detailed in the Sacramento Bee's coverage of Bill 107, "the new law gives California courts the ability to assert custody hearing jurisdiction when a transgender child is in the state to receive health care." 

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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Aggregate California Gavin Newsom Transgender Protection Transgender Rights