California’s Capital Declares Itself a Transgender Sanctuary City
California’s Capital Declares Itself a Transgender Sanctuary City

By Brad Jones

Dozens of transgender activists clashed with several parental rights protesters outside Sacramento City Hall on March 26 preceding public debate over a trans sanctuary city resolution, which the council unanimously passed.

The resolution declaring Sacramento “a sanctuary city for transgender people,” effective immediately, supports Senate Bill 107, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law in 2022, making California a trans sanctuary state for transgender youth and their parents avoiding prosecution for child abuse in other states.

The city’s new policy shelters doctors and other health care professionals from “criminal punishment, civil liability, administrative penalties, or professional sanctions based on the laws of other states.”

The resolution also states that no city resources shall be used to detain anyone “seeking or providing gender-affirming care, nor the aiding of it,” including “gender affirmation surgery or gender hormone therapy.”

Additionally, it states no city resources are to be used for “cooperating with or providing information to any individual or out-of-state agency or department regarding the provision of lawful gender-affirming healthcare or gender-affirming mental healthcare performed in the state of California.”

The resolution cites the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, better known as WPATH, and the Trevor Project—activist organizations that have both come under fire from conservative lawmakers and parental rights groups for advocating gender transitions for children—among other organizations.

City Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela, who sponsored the resolution, said the trans sanctuary city policy isn’t a symbolic gesture but a binding resolution.

Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela speaks at a Sacramento City Council meeting on March 26, 2024. (Sacramento City Council/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

“I’m proud of our state legislature for how they have stepped up to pass laws to protect many communities including and particularly tonight, our LGBTQ plus community, but it isn’t enough,” she said at the Tuesday meeting. “So, I am honored tonight to be bringing forward this resolution.”

Ms. Valenzuela’s city council term will end in December after she lost her reelection bid in California’s top-two jungle primary and will not move forward to the Nov. 5 general election ballot. She conceded the race on March 26.

Socialist Influence

Emily Smet, an organizer for the Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America, which drafted the resolution, told the council it will protect trans people and doctors from “unjust out-of-state investigations.”

The activist, who identifies as a transgender woman, said the resolution is important for the health and safety of the trans community “given the increasingly hostile political climate for transgender, intersex and non-binary people,” leading to “what you could call transgender refugees” in the United States.

“As a trans person, I have watched with increasing concern as year after year states across the nation introduced increasingly restrictive laws targeting transgender life,” she said.

What started as “bathroom bills and sports bans” in states across the country has escalated to full bans on medical treatment for transgender youth and the criminalization of doctors who assist them, the activist said.

“This resolution prepares us for the rising tide of transphobic hate in our country—a hate that manifests itself in the groups opposing this resolution here today,” she said.

Emily Smet, member of the Sacramento Democratic Socialists of America, speaks at a Sacramento City Council meeting on March 26, 2024. (Sacramento City Council/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Sara Connor, another member of the socialist group, told the council she wanted to “underline and emphasize” the socialist group’s message about “the critical importance” of the resolution for Sacramento’s transgender community.

“I know and love so many trans people, and I see all across the nation, a trans panic sweeping our nation, and I find it despicable, and I find it horrifying,” she said. “I believe that the trans people in this city deserve better, and this resolution is a step toward that.”

Several other members of Democratic Socialists at the meeting also voiced their support for the resolution.

‘Humans Cannot Change Sex’

Beth Bourne, chair of parental rights group Moms for Liberty in Yolo County, told the council that her daughter, now 18, thought she was transgender when she was in junior high school, but five years later has become more accepting of her “healthy, young female body.”

However, her Kaiser Permanente doctor, she said, recommended that her daughter go to the Kaiser Proud Clinic the first time he heard she was using male pronouns “to have puberty blockers and testosterone injected in her body.”

“I said to her, ‘No, you will not be a guinea pig. This is an experiment, and children are having their bodies permanently harmed,’” Ms. Bourne said.

She told the council girls 13 to 17 years old in her hometown are having their breasts removed.

“I’m here because I want you to know that humans cannot change sex. Sex is binary and immutable. It is every single cell of your body,” Ms. Bourne said. “Taking testosterone to grow a beard or having your breasts removed does not make you a man. Testosterone takes five to 10 years off of your life. It leads to liver cancer and it causes vaginal atrophy.”

She urged the council to “follow the money” to find out for themselves who is making money off gender dysphoric children.

“It’s these doctors, it’s these gender clinics, and it’s Big Pharma,” she said.

Beth Bourne of Moms for Liberty speaks at a Sacramento City Council meeting on March 26, 2024. (Sacramento City Council/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Nicolle Young, the Moms for Liberty chair in Placer County, said parents should be allowed to raise their children and make decisions “without the city of Sacramento offering them a safe place to medicalize their perfect bodies.”

“We’re talking about kids here. We all know adults have medical rights. We’re talking about providing sanctuary to children from parents. Now, I just want to sink let that sink in for a minute,” she said. “I’m a parent and none of you know my kids and none of you love my kids like I do. This is insane that we are having this conversation. Insane!”

Ms. Young told The Epoch Times trans activists harassed parental rights protesters at the meeting, mainly targeting Ms. Bourne by shouting insults, tearing up her signs, and disrupting her interviews with local news media.

She defended Moms for Liberty, saying the group isn’t objecting to gender transitions for adults but only opposed to giving children access to puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries, and social transitioning them at school behind parents’ backs.

“We’re not anti-trans,” she said. “We’re pro-parental-rights and we’re pro-reality.”

Ms. Young said she is disappointed the “silent majority” of Americans hasn’t spoken up to oppose gender ideology and seems to be confused about the resolution.

Sacramento is now a “a safe haven for children to escape their parents,” and could be dangerous for these children, she said.

Gender dysphoric children, especially those who believe their parents are “unsupportive,” are prime targets for sexual predators, drug addiction, and sex trafficking, she said.

One man named Julius played a video of detransitioner Chloe Cole who regrets having a double mastectomy at the hands of Kaiser Permanente doctors when she was 15 and who he said has been the target of “hate” from trans activists.

He accused activists of hypocrisy for preaching about inclusivity but then rejecting those who transitioned and later regretted it.

“If you make the claim that Christians try to impose their beliefs on people, well then how are you any different trying to impose your ideologies on people?” he said. “So, I just don’t see the distinction there. … Where’s the inclusivity?”

A man named Julius speaks at a Sacramento City Council meeting on March 26, 2024. (Sacramento City Council/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Meg Madden, who pulled her middle-school daughter out of the Sacramento Unified School District over gender ideology, told the council England, France, Norway, Finland, and Sweden have found—after evidence-based systematic reviews—that the risk-benefit ratio “of what is euphemistically referred to as youth gender transition” is either unknown or unfavorable.

“Gender ideology is a lie,” she said. “And that lie has spawned the worst medical scandal in history. That is why so many other states and other countries are halting or greatly limiting these practices on children. No child is born in the wrong body.”

Ms. Madden told the Epoch Times she was very concerned by the way the city council spoke about the issue and interacted with trans activists.

“Being at a meeting like that makes me concerned that the chasm between those of us who believe in reality and those who don’t is very wide and getting wider,” she said.

Double Mastectomy Applauded

A woman told the council she had a double mastectomy three months ago and praised her Kaiser doctor who “wears a trans cap” was applauded at the meeting.

“I’m very happy after receiving top surgery. I’m not confused. I’m actually—I have more clarity, since receiving the gender-affirming care that I have received at Kaiser,” she said.

But opponents of the resolution weren’t cheering and clapping.

“It was really sad to me to see that level of self-loathing celebrated,” Ms. Young said. “She needed help and maybe a hug and not her healthy breasts removed and her reality denied.”

Ms. Bourne said people clapping to celebrate a woman removing her healthy breasts is sending the wrong message to gender dysphoric girls.

“That’s what I see as one of the biggest problems with this whole trans ideology and the medical side. There is so much celebration and promises that you’ll have this gender euphoria if you have these procedures done,” she said. “You got your breasts cut off—and that, of course, makes no sense. Why would your brain feel better after you self-harmed?”

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