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Sacramento becomes first transgender sanctuary city in California


(The Center Square) Sacramento’s city council unanimously passed a resolution to become the first “sanctuary city for transgender people” in California. This measure prohibits Sacramento city resources from being used to “detain individuals seeking care, or otherwise to cooperate with jurisdictions seeking to enforce laws criminalizing gender affirming care in other jurisdictions.”

Over 20 states have restrictions on transgender surgeries and puberty blockers for children. According to a Harvard/Harris poll, 67% of Democrats, 89% of Republicans, and 77% of independents believe gender surgeries and puberty blockers should not be allowed for those under 18. Should the “Restricts Rights of Transgender Youth Initiative” collect enough signatures to make the November ballot and be approved by voters, California could also ban transgender surgeries and puberty blockers for minors.

“Due to the overwhelming evidence of harm, several European countries have halted puberty blockers, wrong-sex hormones and surgeries for minors,” said Beth Bourne, Chair of Yolo County Moms for Liberty and protestor at the city council meeting, in a statement to The Center Square. “Children can’t possibly consent to sterilization or mastectomies.”

Should RRTY pass in California, it would open up potential conflict with SB 107, a bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2022 making California a transgender sanctuary state.

SB 107 prohibits healthcare providers that provide gender-affirming healthcare for children from releasing medical information in response to criminal or civil action based on other states’ laws banning gender care for minors, law enforcement from providing extraditions based on such bans, and the state from enforcing other states’ orders authorizing child removal from parents or guardians based on such bans.

The bill also authorized California courts to “take temporary jurisdiction because a child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care” and “prohibit a court from considering the taking or retention of a child from a person who has legal custody of the child, if the taking or retention was for obtaining gender-affirming health care or mental health care.”

Sacramento’s resolution effectively creates a sanctuary-within-a-sanctuary that serves as a backstop against not only other states’ transgender policies, but also against any potential California laws, such as the pending ballot measure. However, with state laws typically pre-empting local laws, future California laws could come into conflict with and supersede Sacramento’s resolution.