This US city has declared itself a ‘sanctuary’ for trans people

The city council in California’s capital, Sacramento, have unanimously voted to declare the city a “sanctuary city for transgender people”.

On Tuesday (26 March), council members passed the resolution – which takes effect immediately – that ensures council resources will not be used to criminalise trans people seeking gender affirming care or to cooperate with those who wish to enforce laws that criminalise the care in other states.

It comes amid increasingly hostile legislation across the US aimed at trans people, with lawmakers particularly seeking to remove access to gender affirming care for adults and youth. This is alongside bills looking to remove anti-discrimination protections, ban trans folks from single-sex spaces and from taking part in sports.

“California has been a leader in protecting the rights of transgender individuals to access care, but many states across the nation are moving in the opposite direction,” the resolution reads.

“In preparation of future legislation that may criminalize those providing or seeking gender-affirming care
and given the Council’s stated values of equity and inclusion, it is important for the City of
Sacramento to be proactive in reiterating our commitment to transgender rights and equal protections
for transgender people by declaring ourselves a sanctuary city and a place of safety for transgender

It added: “This resolution would also resolve to ensure the rights of transgender individuals in
Sacramento are upheld, and that no city resources – including staff time – would be used to detain
individuals seeking care, or otherwise to cooperate with jurisdictions seeking to enforce laws
criminalizing gender affirming care in other jurisdictions.”

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Resolution a reminder of ‘resiliency and passion in our community’

Commenting on the passage of the resolution on X/Twitter, councilmember Katie Valenzuela – who proposed the measure – said it was written and informed by trans community leaders.

“It was put forward in recognition of the rise in laws across our country seeking to limit or completely restrict access to gender-affirming care,” Valenzuela wrote.

“By affirming our commitment to supporting our LGBTQ+ community and ensuring that no city resources or staff time will be used to help enforce these harmful laws in other jurisdictions, the City has taken a step beyond state law and sent a powerful signal to everyone in our community that we are a safe place for everyone.”

She added: “Tonight’s testimony in support of this resolution was a powerful reminder of the resiliency and passion in our community to protect our transgender neighbors.

“I have never been prouder to represent this incredible city I call home.”