LGBTQ lawmakers’ bill would make New York a transgender refuge state

New York lawmakers counted New York among a number of states that introduced or announced legislation this week protecting access to care and rights for transgender constituents.

2021 marked a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation, according to the Human Rights Campaign. This year is even worse, according to New York State Assembly member Harry Bronson. More bills prohibiting gender-affirming care, blocking trans girls from competing on women’s sports teams, among others, passed in several states already this year.

Bronson joined New York Sen. Brad Hoylman, in introducing New York’s legislation, which is characterized as a “trans refugee” bill.

“As a society we must recognize the dignity and humanity inherent within others — especially our trans youth,” Bronson said. “Our Trans Safe Haven legislation will send a strong message that LGBTQ+ rights will always be protected in the Empire State.”

New York is one of three states that recently introduced a “trans refugee” bill, along with California and Minnesota. On May 3, several states passed more anti-trans laws, while 16 other states committed to bring forward similar legislation.

Tal Moskowitz, 8, below, a transgender child, holds a sign as his parents Faigy Gelbstein, left, and Naomi Moskowitz, upper right, of Long Island, hold separate signs during a rally in support of transgender youth at the Stonewall National Monument, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 in New York.

New York’s bill prohibits separating parents or guardians from their child because they allowed their child to receive gender-affirming care. That care includes hormone replacement therapy or puberty blockers, as well as performing medical procedures. Gender-affirming surgeries are rarely performed on people under 18, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In Alabama, as of Sunday, health providers could be charged with a felony for giving gender-affirming treatment to transgender people under 19. New York’s bill does the opposite: it would shield health providers caring for transgender patients from arrest.

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