Minneapolis becomes a 'safe haven' for gender-affirming care

Minneapolis becomes a ‘safe haven’ for gender-affirming care

Minneapolis is now a safe haven for trans people and others seeking gender-affirming care.

On Friday, Mayor Jacob Frey signed an executive order establishing sanctuary status for the city – considered the first in the state and at the forefront of cities nationwide to erect a “rainbow wall” of protection against anti-trans policies.

“Here in our city you are loved, you are protected and we want to make sure you feel safe,” Frey said shortly before signing the ordinance at City Hall amid leaders health care and LGBTQ advocates.

Friday’s action comes as trans rights – or lack thereof – come to the fore in so-called culture wars, with elements of society pushing back against an awakening that gender definitions of male or female are inadequate, especially among younger generations.

Violence against trans people, including murders, reached record levels in 2021, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a national nonprofit that tracks hate violence.

The medical community, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association, has increasingly endorsed gender-affirming care, which can range from counseling to medication and surgery as people seek to live a life corresponding to the sex with which they identify when it is in contradiction with the expectations of society.

“As doctors, we really love working in science, and what we know about science is that gender-affirming medical care saves lives,” said Dr Kelsey Leonardsmith, a family physician at St. Paul who provides hormonal care to transgender people. “When state governments act like bullies…it’s nothing short of abuse, and we’re here to stand between these young people and their bullies.”

Specifically, the ordinance prohibits city staff from prosecuting or imposing sanctions on “any person or organization for providing, seeking, receiving, or assisting another person seeking gender-affirming care.”

This is in direct response to the trend in conservative states to restrict or criminalize gender-affirming care, such as a law in Texas that could treat parents of children who seek such care as child abusers.

Legally speaking, Friday’s order has little immediate effect. There are currently no Minnesota or federal policies attacking gender-affirming care.

Some protections exist in state law, but if the laws were to change, the Minneapolis order would isolate the city — as far as a city can. For example, Frey said any such law in Minnesota would be enforced at the “lowest level of priority” and the city would refuse to enforce another state’s law that conflicts with the city’s position. .

Frey pointed out that the new order establishes a “clear directional state” for the city as a “refuge”.

City Council Speaker Andrea Jenkins, who became one of the nation’s highest elected officials to be openly trans when elected in 2017, welcomed the new order.

“To all gender non-conforming, trans-identified, gender-expressing, non-binary, gender-creating youth, and to our elders…here in the City of Minneapolis, we see you, we feel you, we hear you , and every day we try to meet the needs of this community.”

In September, California became the first state in the country to become a sanctuary for gender-affirming care, which is also protected in Connecticut and Massachusetts. At least 15 other states, including Minnesota, have seen proposals introduced in their state legislatures.

Minnesota’s proposal, co-sponsored by State Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, had little chance of success when it was introduced in the Republican-controlled Senate last year. Next year, however, the Democrat-Farmer-Labour Party will control both chambers, greatly increasing the idea’s prospects.

The legal weight of Friday’s executive order is similar to an executive order Frey signed in August making the city a safe haven for abortion access.

#Minneapolis #safe #haven #genderaffirming #care

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *