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Sacramento is now a sanctuary city for transgender people

City council votes to make Sacramento safe space for transgenders
City council votes to make Sacramento safe space for transgenders 02:21

SACRAMENTO — The city of Sacramento is now a transgender sanctuary city, believed to be the first in California to vote for this designation.

The move was a big victory for transgender advocates in Lavender Heights, the heart of Sacramento's LGBTQ+ community.

Sabrina Naves is a trans advocate who says families are moving to Sacramento from other states that restrict or ban gender-affirming health care.

"They've moved to Sacramento. They've come here and they found a welcoming home for themselves," Naves said.

The city council voted to protect those families by declaring Sacramento a transgender sanctuary city.

Ahead of the council vote, there was a faceoff between supporters and opponents. Moms For Liberty held a protest outside city hall.

"This city is saying that we will promote the idea that people can be born in the wrong body and that we will pick up children coming into our state or into the city to give them these surgeries, and we cannot be doing that," Moms For Liberty spokesperson Beth Bourne said.

Inside the city council's chambers Tuesday, the policy fired up public testimony.  

The transgender sanctuary city policy will restrict staff from using time or money on efforts from outside states' legal action against people seeking gender-affirming care.

There are 23 states that now restrict or ban the care.

"The problem is, right now, we're being used as a political scapegoat," Naves said.

This transgender sanctuary policy was modeled after Ithaca, New York. 

Councilmember Katie Valenzuela believes this is the first one of its kind in California. It goes into effect immediately.

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