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LGBTQ+ lawmakers in 19 States to introduce bills to protect Trans kids

16 additional states will accompany already-introduced legislation by Senator Scott Wiener of California, including New York & Minnesota

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Senator Scott Wiener (D-SF) (Blade file photo)

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), LGBTQ Victory Institute, Equality California and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California today announced the national, LGBTQ-led rollout of trans refuge state legislation in 19 states.

In response to recent executive and legislative action in states like Alabama and Texas, these trans refuge laws will shield trans kids and their families from penalties when seeking gender-affirming care. 

In addition to already-introduced legislation in California by Senator Scott Wiener, in New York by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Harry Bronson, and in Minnesota by Senator Scott Dibble, 21 LGBTQ lawmakers representing 16 additional states (19 states total) publicly committed today to introduce trans refuge state bills in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. 

“Today, we’re proud to announce that over a third of the states in our country — 19 — are pushing back hard against the horrendous anti-trans legislation we’re seeing in Texas and elsewhere,” said Wiener. “Starting with our legislation in California, we are building a coordinated national legislative campaign by LGBTQ lawmakers — a rainbow wall — to provide refuge for trans kids and their families. We’re making it crystal clear: We won’t let trans kids be belittled, used as political pawns, separated from their families, or denied gender-affirming care. We won’t let their parents be criminalized or have their kids taken away. This first of its kind legislative effort sends a clear message both to our community and to those who are attacking our community: We’re all in this together and we’re ready to fight.”

“When trans kids’ lives are on the line, playing defense doesn’t cut it. It’s time to play offense. We are using the collective power of LGBTQ state legislators all across the nation to launch a counter-offensive that aims to protect trans kids and parents while also demonstrating that there is a positive agenda for trans people that lawmakers can support. While LGBTQ elected officials will fight tooth and nail to get these passed in every state, now we need allies to step up to help us get it done. And even in states that have little chance of these bills advancing, the message it sends is still incredibly important: trans kids need to know they have leaders standing up and fighting for them,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute.

“Parents should not live in fear of being hunted down by the government for loving and supporting their child. As a native Texan, I’m ashamed of Governor Abbott’s hateful attacks against trans kids and their families. But as a Californian, I’m so proud of our state for serving as a beacon of hope and a place of refuge for those children and their parents. We are thankful to Senator Wiener, the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus and our partners at Planned Parenthood for standing with trans youth and their families in this fight,” said Tony Hoang, Executive Director of Equality California.

“Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California stands with all LGBTQ+ communities, particularly transgender communities, during this moment. We are all too familiar with the extreme and dangerous policing of essential health care and restrictions targeting the trans community—especially trans youth. Planned Parenthood health centers across California will always be open, for all who seek or need care. We strongly support these protections put forth by Senator Wiener,” said Jodi Hicks, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.

“This is important legislation for any state to help defend against anti-transgender policies. We have to combat hateful discriminatory laws with every tool we have. When they go low, we need to go high,” said Colorado state Representative Brianna Titone.

“From our state legislatures to Congress, we stand against these laws that are trying to wipe away the history of the LGBTQ community. These so called ‘leaders’ must understand that when you come for one of us, you come for all us, and we will not stand down,” said Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones.

“We have made strides to ensure the LGBTQ community has protections. Now is the time to ensure our LGBTQ youth have protections as well,” said Kentucky state Representative Keturah Herron.

“Politicians across the country are playing games with people’s lives by criminalizing the fundamental right of trans youth and their families to seek gender-affirming health care. While we cannot stop these despicable laws from being enacted in other states, we can make sure that these youth and their families can safely receive the care they need in Minnesota, without fear or hatred,” said Minnesota state Senator Scott Dibble.

“These assaults on families are unacceptable, immoral and something that we must stand together as a state and reject. We must do everything we can to send a clear message that these families are welcome here,” said Minnesota state Representative Liz Reyer.

“Punishing parents for taking care of their children isn’t a crime, it’s a parental responsibility. Transgender children and their families need the support of their community, not the threat of imprisonment,” said New Hampshire state Representative Gerri Cannon.

“It is clear that politicians are using vulnerable trans people to stoke fear and hatred to win elections. We will not allow our state laws to be abused to serve their political agenda. I look forward to seeing Washington State join a coalition of states that are standing up for the rights and dignity of trans people,” said Washington state Senator Marko Liias.

“Attacks to the trans community, especially our trans youth, have been far too numerous. We need to stand strong with the trans community by introducing legislation to protect our trans children from hostile state legislatures. I will proudly introduce legislation in West Virginia to ensure our trans children and their parents are protected and supported,” said West Virginia Delegate Cody Thompson.

Below is the full list of state lawmakers who have already introduced or will introduce trans refuge state legislation as soon as possible: 

  • California state Senator Scott Wiener 
  • Colorado state Representative Brianna Titone 
  • Connecticut state Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan 
  • Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones 
  • Florida state Representative Michele Rayner 
  • Georgia state Representative Karla Drenner 
  • Georgia state Representative Park Cannon 
  • Illinois state Representative Kelly Cassidy 
  • Illinois state Representative Lamont Robinson 
  • Kansas state Representative Brandon Woodard 
  • Kentucky state Representative Keturah Herron 
  • Maine state Representative Laurie Osher 
  • Michigan state Senator Jeremy Moss 
  • Minnesota state Senator Scott Dibble 
  • Minnesota state Representative Liz Reyer 
  • New Hampshire state Representative Gerri Cannon 
  • New Mexico state Representative Roger Montoya 
  • New York state Assemblymember Harry Bronson  
  • New York state Senator Brad Hoylman 
  • Oregon state Senator Kate Lieber 
  • Oregon state Representative Dacia Grayber 
  • Rhode Island state Senator Tiara TyShae Mack 
  • Vermont state Representative Taylor Small 
  • Washington state Senator Marko Liias 
  • West Virginia state Delegate Cody Thompson 

Click here to read Senator Wiener’s bill, SB 107.

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Politics

Hillary Clinton labels Justice Thomas ‘a person of grievance’

Clinton cautioned that Thomas was also sending a signal to attack same-sex marriage, sodomy and contraception

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Screenshot/YouTube CBS Mornings

NEW YORK – In an interview with CBS News correspondent and co-anchor of CBS Mornings Gayle King, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reflected on last Friday’s stunning yet expected overturn of landmark women’s reproductive choice case Roe v. Wade.

During the interview, Secretary Clinton cautioned that Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was sending a signal to attack same-sex marriage, sodomy and contraception to lower federal courts and state legislatures and that he would be willing to consider cases that could target those rights.

“He has signaled in the past to lower courts, to state legislatures to find cases, pass laws, get them up,” Clinton said, adding Thomas’s message to conservative judicial activists has been “I may not get them the first, the second, or the third time, but we’re going to keep at it.”

Clinton also noted, “I went to law school with [Justice Thomas]. He’s been a person of grievance for as long as I have known him — resentment, grievance, anger … Women are going to die, Gayle. Women will die.”

Hillary Clinton on abortion ruling: “Women are going to die”

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Politics

U.S. House Speaker hints at legislation to codify same-sex marriage rights

Pelosi suggested such legislation in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday to fellow members of the House Democratic caucus

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at SF Pride 2022 by photographer Barbara Kinney (published by permission)

WASHINGTON – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) hinted at the possibility of legislation to codify the right of same-sex couples to marry, which many fear is in danger after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, as part of an effort to secure “freedoms which Americans currently enjoy.”

Pelosi suggested such legislation could be in the works in a “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday to fellow members of the House Democratic caucus addressing plans for congressional action after the ruling last week in Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization, which eliminated the right for women to access an abortion.

The concurrence of U.S. Associate Justice Clarence Thomas is a core component of the letter from Pelosi, who expressed consternation about his rejection of finding unenumerated rights under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“It is still appalling to me that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would agree that a Constitutional right does not exist if it was not spelled out explicitly and in public when the 14th Amendment was ratified over 150 years ago,” Pelosi said. “While this extremist Supreme Court works to punish and control the American people, Democrats must continue our fight to expand freedom in America. Doing so is foundational to our oath of office and our fidelity to the Constitution.”

Thomas said in his concurring opinion he welcomes vehicles that would allow the court to revisit other major decisions, such as the Griswold decision guaranteeing the right to contraceptives; the Lawrence decision decriminalizing sodomy for same-sex couples and others; and the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

Although Pelosi doesn’t explicitly say she’ll introduce legislation on same-sex marriage, she brought up “access to contraception and in-vitro fertilization to marriage equality,” then added, “Legislation is being introduced to further codify freedoms which Americans currently enjoy. More information to follow.”

“It is clear from how Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell stacked the Supreme Court that elections have ramifications,” Pelosi said. “It is essential that we protect and expand our pro-choice Majorities in the House and Senate in November so that we can eliminate the filibuster so that we can restore women’s fundamental rights – and freedom for every American.”

Any legislation seeking to codify marriage equality would have to get around marriage being an issue administered by the states under the guidelines of the U.S. Constitution. In the past, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) has introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which would have required the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage and states to recognize same-sex marriage performed elsewhere.

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California Politics

Abortion rights: California Constitutional Amendment heads to ballot

The state is expanding efforts to protect women seeking abortions or reproductive care as well as anyone assisting those women

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Capitol building in Sacramento (Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – In November, California voters will have an opportunity to amend the state’s constitution to include the right to an abortion and today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to further protect women coming to California from other states.

“California will not back down from the fight to protect abortion rights as more than half the states in this country, enabled by the Supreme Court, ban or severely restrict access,” said Newsom. “We are ensuring Californians will have the opportunity this November to enshrine the right to choose in our state constitution. And we’re not waiting until November to take action, today’s executive order ensures that the state will not hand over patients who come here to receive care and will not extradite doctors who provide care to out-of-state patients here. In California, women will remain protected.”  

The order signed today prevents any information, including medical records and patient data, from being shared by state agencies or departments in response to inquiries or investigations brought by other states or individuals within those states looking to restrict access. The state is expanding efforts to protect women seeking abortions or reproductive care as well as anyone assisting those women.

SCA 10 was passed by the California State Assembly today and now heads to the November ballot.  

Within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last Friday, Governor Newsom signed legislation to help protect patients and providers in California from civil liability for providing, aiding, or receiving abortion care in the state. In addition, Governor Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington launched a new Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care and protect patients and providers.  

The budget agreement announced yesterday includes more than $200 million in additional funding for reproductive health care services. Governor Newsom recently signed legislation eliminating copays for abortion care services and has signed into law a legislative package to further strengthen access and protect patients and providers.  

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