‘Transgender’ Safe Haven Bill Clears Senate Committee

The New York State Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that aims to “make New York a safe haven for transgender youth and their families.”

Bill S.2475-A-Hoylman-Sigal seeks to prevent the state of New York from enforcing or cooperating with laws from other states that might punish out-of-state parents who obtain so-called “gender-affirming care” for their minor children in New York. The legislation would also prevent New York from enforcing or cooperating with laws from other states that might punish medical personnel for providing so-called “gender-affirming care.” (Examples of “gender affirming care” include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures for people who are uncomfortable with their gender identities.) Specifically, the legislation would bar consideration of any out-of-state law that would authorize the removal of a child from a parent’s custody because that parent allowed the child to obtain “gender-affirming care.” It would also block the state of New York from cooperating with other states in regard to arrests, subpoenas, and extraditions arising from out-of-state laws banning “gender-affirming care.” Finally, the bill would prevent New York medical personnel who provide “gender-affirming care” from suffering adverse action with regard to licensure or insurance. This unnecessary and troubling measure is analogous to various New York laws that create special protections for medical personnel who provide abortion-related services to residents of other states.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-0 to advance this legislation. The full voting record is available here. Twelve committeemembers voted in favor of the bill, while seven others supported it by voting “aye with reservations.” (A vote of “Aye With Reservations” is a vote to allow a bill to proceed to the next stage of the legislative process without expressing approval or disapproval on its merits. In essence, a vote of “Aye With Reservations” on a bill is an effort to avoid taking a position on it.) The bill now moves to the Senate Codes Committee for further consideration.

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is disappointed with the Senate Republicans that failed to oppose this bill. We call upon them to reverse course.