The California State Assembly passed a bill on Monday that would establish the state as a "refuge" for transgender children and their families.
The bill was introduced earlier this year by state Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat who represents San Francisco and parts of San Mateo County.
"California must stand with LGBTQ kids and their families, especially when they’re under attack across the country," Wiener said in a statement. "Parents should never be separated from their kids or criminalized for simply allowing them to be who they are."
The bill, which now goes to the state senate, was filed after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in February to "conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of any reported instances" of "so-called ‘sex change’ procedures," which "constitutes child abuse under existing Texas law."
"It is already against the law to subject Texas children to a wide variety of elective procedures for gender transitioning, including reassignment surgeries that can cause sterilization, mastectomies, removals of otherwise healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen," Abbott wrote in the order, citing a ruling from the Texas Attorney General last year.
A Judge temporarily blocked Abbott's order last month, but the bill passed by California's Assembly on Monday would prevent the arrest or extradition of an individual in California for violating another state's law that criminalizes gender-affirming care.
It would also prohibit compliance with any out-of-state subpoena related to someone who travels to California for gender-affirming care, and prevents a state agency from removing a child from their parent or guardian for violating the law of another state related to this type of health care.
Greg Burt, Director of Capitol Engagement with the conservative California Family Council, called it an assault on parental rights.
"This bill declares war on parents throughout the country who don’t want their children sterilized because of their gender dysphoria, a condition that resolves itself in most cases after a child reaches adulthood," he said in a statement last month as the bill winded through the legislature.
Wiener said that 19 other states have introduced similar legislation to become refuges for transgender children.
The state senator was not available for comment about the bill or potential age limits for hormone replacement therapy or transgender surgeries in California.
Several other conservative states, including Florida and Alabama, have introduced similar laws and orders prohibiting the type of health care that California is passing laws to protect.