Earlier this month, Pittsburgh City Council passed two bills aimed at protecting gender-affirming care for the city’s LGBTQ population. One protects information of those who provide this care and the other preempts statewide legislative restrictions on gender-affirming care.
One of the bills would make Pittsburgh a “sanctuary city” regarding gender-affirming services. This amends a previous law aimed at protecting providers of abortion and related care. The amendment will shield care providers, as well as recipients and their legal guardians, from out-of-state investigations or prosecution for receiving gender-affirming care.
“‘Gender Affirming Care Services’” means the range of social, psychological, behavioral, and medical interventions designed to support and affirm an individual’s gender identity when it conflicts with the gender they were assigned at birth,” according to the legislation.
It would prevent city officials from trying to provide information or otherwise spend any city resources related to those seeking or assisting others in getting gender-affirming services — unless ordered by a state court, state law or federal law.
Across the United States, 26 states of restricted gender-affirming care and 20 states have introduced legislation that would criminalize it. Pennsylvania currently has no such law, but legislation has been introduced in the General Assembly.
Targeting providers is a reprehensible way to isolate people who need care.
“Gender-affirming health care is life-saving health care,” said Maria Montaño, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Gainey, who identifies as trans, after the bill was introduced, according to the Trib. “I can say that because it saved my life.”
Kudos to the City for being proactive to protect trans kids.
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