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San Francisco leaders declare city sanctuary for transgender people

The San Francisco City Board of Supervisors declared the city a sanctuary for transgender and non-binary people on Tuesday, making it the largest city in the nation to make such a distinction.

The declaration comes as conservative states step up efforts to restrict transgender rights and access to gender-affirming health care. San Francisco has vowed to provide a safe space for its community and gender-affirming health care providers.

of Unanimous decision The city has a well-known “sanctuary city” immigration policy that prohibits city law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. Introduced in 1985, the policy quickly spread to cities across the country and sparked a conservative backlash.

The Bay Area and San Francisco in particular have a long history with the LGBTQ community: the city’s Castro district was one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States, first gaining prominence in the 1960s.

San Francisco is also home to America’s first Transgender Cultural District, which commemorates the site of the 1966 riots against police violence against transgender people.

Director Rafael Mandelman, who represents Castro, He told the San Francisco Chronicle The measure was created as a direct condemnation of conservative attacks against transgender people, they said.

“Most of these laws specifically target transgender people, including young people,” he said. “As other cities and states step up the hate, places like San Francisco need to step up the love.”

“With this resolution, we reaffirm that our city has been and will continue to be a sanctuary and beacon for transgender and gender non-conforming people,” he added.

As transgender rights have become a hot-button political issue, more than a dozen states have moved to restrict access to gender-affirming care in the past two years.

of Trans Legislation TrackerThere are just over 600 such bills under consideration in 2023 and nearly 600 so far in 2024, according to a research site that lists state bills targeting transgender rights.