New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has taken a controversial step by signing legislation that has turned the state into a sanctuary for those involved in the illegal administration of gender-change drugs, hormones, or surgeries to transgender minors.
New York has passed a new “safe haven” law protecting access to gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors. https://t.co/yi3F8DMTtV
— The Hill (@thehill) June 26, 2023
The legislation, which was co-sponsored by four New York state senators, was finalized just before Hochul’s appearance at the New York City Pride parade.
Under the new law, dubbed New York Senate Bill S2475B, authorities in New York are no longer allowed to cooperate with investigations initiated by other states into people who have violated laws related to gender-affirming care for minors.
This means that the state will no longer share information or make arrests related to those involved in any form of gender-affirming care.
In addition to impacting law enforcement procedures, the legislation also has consequences for family law in the state as it explicitly states that the state will not consider the removal of a child from their parent or guardian in custody cases involving gender-affirming care.
Hence, if a guardian attempts to provide a child with an illegal sex change, the state will not remove the child from their custody.
The law further emphasizes that law enforcement agencies must not cooperate with or provide information to individuals or agencies from other states regarding the provision of lawful gender-affirming care performed within New York. The aim is to shield individuals involved in these procedures from potential legal repercussions.
During the signing of the legislation, Hochul expressed her support for the movement as well as a desire to encourage other states to adopt similar measures. “I stand together with champions of this movement who have joined us today to say no more. We will give you the template, rest of the country. We will show you what you need to do,” she stated.
“As other states target LGBTQ+ people with bigotry and fear mongering, New York is fighting back,” she said in a Sunday news release.
Aside from the law protecting those involved in gender-affirming care, Hochul also signed an amendment that requires New York State employees to use “preferred pronouns.” This move has drawn attention and raised concerns among conservatives who see it as an infringement on free speech rights.
With the recent developments, New York now joins states such as California, Vermont, Montana, Illinois and Washington D.C. that already have laws that give transgender minors, their families and their doctors access to gender-affirming healthcare.
Earlier this month, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed an executive order that provides a “safe haven” for those who seek gender-affirming health care.
On the other end, 20 states, including Florida, Texas, Alabama, North Dakota, Utah and Idaho have passed legislation either banning or severely restricting transgender health care.