California aims to become ‘refuge’ for trans children, their families

By Guillermo Azabal

Los Angeles, Aug 11 (EFE).- California is on the verge of passing a bill that would make that state a refuge for trans kids and their families, a legislative step being taken in response to efforts elsewhere in the United States to prevent these children from accessing gender reassignment treatments or surgeries.

The provision of gender-affirming medical care to minors, whether via surgeries or nonsurgical care such as puberty blockers and hormones, is banned in states such as Texas, Alabama, Louisiana and Idaho.

The penalties for violations of those state laws include the severing of parental rights and criminal consequences for parents who allow their children to access these types of treatments.

If passed, the California bill (SB-107) would “prohibit the enforcement of an order based on another state’s law authorizing a child to be removed from their parent or guardian based on that parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care.”

It also would “prohibit (California) law enforcement agencies from making, or intentionally participating in, the arrest of an individual pursuant to an out-of-state arrest warrant based on another state’s law against providing, receiving or allowing a child to receive gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care.”

Sponsored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, it passed the California State Assembly’s Appropriations committee by a vote of 12-4 earlier this month and soon will be put to a vote before the full Assembly, the lower house of the California State Legislature.

The bill is co-sponsored by Equality California, Planned Parenthood and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis.

But it faces staunch opposition from conservatives in California and has generated significant controversy in recent weeks.

The organization Parents with Inconvenient Truths about Trans told Efe that the bill is scandalous, saying that “most” minors who seek out gender-affirming care suffer from temporary gender dysphoria that is “typical of adolescence.”

Gender dysphoria is a term that refers to psychological distress resulting from an incongruence between one’s gender identity and one’s sex assigned at birth.

“Support, yes. Love, yes. Therapy that allows them to explore why they feel like this, yes. But these types of operations, no,” Gigi LaRue, a representative of Our Duty USA, an association of parents opposed to gender ideology, said in an interview with Efe.

LaRue (a pseudonym she says she uses to avoid “reprisals”) said hormonal treatments and sex-change operations have unwanted consequences, adding that when testosterone and estrogen are administered to the opposite sex they can cause life-long health problems.

Charlie Jacobs (also a pseudonym) of Our Duty USA stressed that his organization is in favor of gay marriage and equal rights and that its stance is not a political one.

LaRue said the human brain is not completely developed until 25 and that people therefore should not be permitted to undergo these treatments until they have reached that age.

According to a study by Detrans Awareness, another organization that opposes these procedures, 70 percent of the people who undergo sex-change treatments continue to experience mental health problems afterward and some regret having gone down that path.

But those figures contrast with those of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Based on data from patients through 2015, that peer-reviewed medical journal says the vast majority of people had positive experiences with these treatments, with just 0.6 percent of trans women and 0.3 percent of trans men indicating dissatisfaction with the transition process.

Mariana Marroquin, Trans Wellness Center Program Manager at the Los Angeles LBTC Center, which provides legal and psychological support to trans people in situations of extreme vulnerability, says that above and beyond any law parents need to love their children.

“I assure you they don’t want them to end up on the street, suffering from violence, alcohol or drugs,” she said. EFE

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