New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) recently signed a controversial bill that provides legal protections for the provision of gender-affirming care for minors, a term often referring to sex-change surgeries, hormones, and related treatments. Hochul signed the law ahead of her appearance at the New York City Pride parade, an event sponsored by several state senators.
The law prohibits state authorities from cooperating with external investigations into individuals suspected of providing such care in violation of laws in other jurisdictions. Furthermore, it restricts the state’s ability to intervene in families where parents are providing this care to their children.
The law, known as Senate Bill S2475B, essentially declares New York a sanctuary for such activities.
The law explicitly states, “prohibits consideration of a law of another state that authorizes a child to be removed from their parent or guardian based on the parent or guardian allowing their child to receive gender-affirming care in custody cases.” Furthermore, law enforcement is now forbidden from “cooperating with or providing information to any individual or out-of-state agency or department regarding the provision of lawful gender-affirming care performed in this state.”
Governor Hochul, speaking to supporters, said, “I stand together with champions of this movement who have joined us today to say no more. We will give you the template, rest of the country. We will show you what you need to do.”
The law also has far-reaching implications for judicial matters, barring the issuance of subpoenas seeking health information about individuals who have sought gender-affirming care in New York. It goes as far as to state, “A police officer may not arrest any person for performing or aiding in the performance of gender-affirming care within this state…if the gender-affirming care is performed in accordance with the provisions of any other applicable law of this state.”
In addition to the main bill, Hochul also signed an amendment requiring New York State employees to use individuals’ “preferred pronouns.” As a result, New York has positioned itself as a state with protections for individuals seeking or providing gender-affirming care, even for minors, while also pushing for more inclusive language use within its workforce.