Assemblymember Bronson: Making New York a Trans Safe Haven

Trans Safe Haven Act is signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, ensuring protections to health care providers and those seeking gender-affirming care

Rochester, NY Assemblymember Harry Bronson (D, Rochester - District 138) announced that Governor Kathy Hochul has signed his bill, the Trans Safe Haven Act (A.6046-B), into law at the New York City Pride Parade this afternoon.

“The Trans Safe Haven Act is a necessary response to the efforts of other states across the country to curtail the healthcare rights of transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and intersex individuals. There are currently twenty states that have enacted laws filled with fearmongering and hate, with additional proposed legislation in many others. I am thankful to Governor Hochul and my co-sponsor, Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, for establishing, through New York State law, protections for individuals and families seeking gender-affirming care for themselves or their children, as well as for the health care practitioners who provide this care. The Trans Safe Haven Law is a clear and unwavering statement that we will not be complicit in other state’s attempts to punish the provision of, receipt of, or support for gender affirming care. New York State will not participate in hate. We will, instead, support and protect people to live as their authentic selves,” said Bronson.

In the 2023 legislative session, more than 130 bills have been introduced in at least 34 states targeting health care and wellness for transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary and intersex people (TGNCNBI). The Safe Haven Act will protect access to gender-affirming care in New York State by:

  • Protecting providers’ licensure and prevent medical malpractice action because a provider delivered gender-affirming care to a patient who traveled to New York from another state. across state-lines, as well as providing refuge for families in need of supportive care and therapy.
  • Preventing New York law enforcement from issuing subpoenas or cooperating with another state’s investigation into gender-affirming care lawfully provided in New York State; or from arrest or extradition because they provided, aided in, or received lawful gender affirming care.
  • Not applying any law in its courts that considers supporting one’s child in obtaining gender- affirming care as child abuse.

The Trans Safe Haven Act will aid families in supporting their loved ones and children to live their true selves and prevents criminal prosecution or separation of families for seeking gender-affirming care. It also ensures that families have access to reliable, regulated care from providers who will help guide their healthcare in a responsible, safe way, free from judgment, fear or disreputable practices.

Governor Hochul said: "As the birthplace of the modern movement for LGBTQ+ rights, New York is proud to protect, defend and affirm our LGBTQ+ community. From Stonewall to Marriage Equality to GENDA, New Yorkers have been on the forefront of the fight for equal rights. Now, as other states target LGBTQ+ people with bigotry and fearmongering, New York is fighting back. These new laws will enshrine our state as a beacon of hope, a safe haven for trans youth and their families, and ensure we continue to lead the nation on LGBTQ+ rights."

Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said: "Today, on Pride, New York makes clear to the nation that our state welcomes transgender children and their families by protecting them and their physicians who provide gender-affirming care with the enactment of our Trans Safe Haven legislation). This legislation comes at a crucial time as right-wing lawmakers are waging a war against transgender children and their families across the country, with twenty states having already banned or restricted gender-affirming care for young people. I'm grateful to Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and my legislative partner Assemblymember Bronson for their support of this vital legislation and continuing to make New York a leader in supporting LGBTQ rights."

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie praised the legislation as an important measure for human rights. “Across the country, we have seen states instituting regressive and dangerous policies, including the criminalization of gender affirming care for transgender young people. Just like we protected people from states that criminalized abortions, we will stand up for the families and doctors of transgender young people seeking gender affirming care here in New York.”

“In New York we pride ourselves on being inclusive, accepting and compassionate, with laws that are not predicated on hate, fear or exclusion,” said Bronson. “Right now, many in our LGBTQ+ community are fighting for their right to exist; their right to live as their authentic selves. Across our nation, states are implementing hate-driven anti-LGBTQ+ strategies - policies influenced by conservative Republicans seeking to deny the existence of the LGBTQ+ community, in particular transgender individuals. New York will not stand by and watch this hate and harassment unfold. The Trans Safe Haven Act guarantees transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary and intersex individuals, and their families, are welcome in New York State. We will fight against these violations of individual freedom and attacks on civil rights by protecting transgender youth and their families, and the providers offering them care.”

Assemblymember Bronson pointed to the high rates of suicide and suicide attempts, along with reports of depression and anxiety, prevalent in the transgender community as another reason the Trans Safe Haven Act is so imperative. Data from the National Institute of Heath indicated that in 2022, 82% of transgender individuals have considered suicide with 40% attempting. Suicidality is highest among transgender youth.

“There’s something I have said for a long time, and it guides me in my work and throughout all aspects of my life: ‘No matter who you are, where you come from, what you look like, what your abilities, who you love, or how you identify - we all have dignity and deserve equity, justice, and the opportunity to succeed.’ Today’s signing into law of the Trans Safe Haven bill reflects New York State’s commitment to social justice, human rights and equality,” added Bronson.

Assemblymember Bronson is available for comment and media appearance regarding this legislation.