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Sacramento Becomes Sanctuary City For Trans People

The city of Sacramento, California, unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to serve as a sanctuary city for transgender people.

The resolution, introduced by Katie Valenzuela, a member of the Sacramento City Council, means that Sacramento would protect the trans community’s rights, safeguarding them from anti-trans legislation such as the growing push across the country to ban gender-affirming care. It follows Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D-Calif.) signing of a law in 2022 that established California as a sanctuary state for trans youth.

“California has been a leader in protecting the rights of transgender
individuals to access care, but many states across the nation are moving in the opposite direction,” the resolution states.

“In preparation of future legislation that may criminalize those providing or seeking gender-affirming care and given the Council’s stated values of equity and inclusion, it is important for the City of Sacramento to be proactive in reiterating our commitment to transgender rights and equal protections for transgender people by declaring ourselves a sanctuary city and a place of safety for transgender people.”

California is one of 11 states that have varying laws protecting access to trans healthcare, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit think tank focused on equality.

Meanwhile, the Trans Legislation Tracker is currently following 533 anti-trans bills and predicts that the number is likely to increase as the year goes on. According to the tracker, 228 of the bills carried over from last year.

“By affirming our commitment to supporting our LGBTQ+ community and ensuring that no city resources or staff time will be used to help enforce these harmful laws in other jurisdictions, the City has taken a step beyond state law and sent a powerful signal to everyone in our community that we are a safe place for everyone,” Valenzuela said on X, formerly Twitter, Tuesday night.

“Tonight’s testimony in support of this resolution was a powerful reminder of the resiliency and passion in our community to protect our transgender neighbors.”

Critics of the resolution have argued that gender-affirming care is detrimental to youth.

“This sanctuary city is saying that we will promote the idea that people can be born in the wrong body,” Beth Bourne, a member of a Sacramento chapter of the conservative political organization Moms for Liberty, told Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA-TV.

The LGBTQ community is facing political attacks across the country.

As of March 15, the American Civil Liberties Union has accounted for 479 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in 2024, five of which have already passed into law. So far, 135 of the bills have been defeated, while 211 have advanced, according to the ACLU.

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