Kansas City becomes sanctuary city for gender-affirming care after City Council vote

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 3:42 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) — City officials voted Thursday on a resolution to declare it a sanctuary for people seeking or providing gender-affirming care, defying state lawmakers who voted a day earlier to ban such care for minors and restrict it for some adults.

GOP Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign the measure into law, joining at least 16 other states that have enacted similar laws restricting or banning gender-affirming care for minors.

Kansas City’s proposal came from a Democratic-leaning city in a state with a Republican governor and GOP-controlled Legislature. Similar action has been taken in places like Austin, Texas.

The resolution also comes as a judge considers a proposed emergency rule from Republican state Attorney General Andrew Bailey that would require adults and children to undergo more than a year of therapy — and fulfill other requirements before they could receive gender-affirming treatment.

A committee signed off Wednesday on the resolution, which says the city will not prosecute or fine any person or organization that seeks, provides, receives or helps someone to receive gender-affirming care such as as puberty blockers, hormones or surgery.

It also stated that if the state passes a law or resolution that imposes criminal or civil punishments, fines, or professional sanctions in such cases, personnel in Missouri’s largest city will make enforcing those requirements “their lowest priority.”

Republican state lawmakers across the U.S. who’ve attacked gender-affirming care as part of a larger effort to roll back LGBTQ+ rights have argued that they’re protecting children from decisions they may later regret. But gender-affirming care for minors has been available in the U.S. for more than a decade and is endorsed by major medical associations.

Supporters of a resolution that would make Kansas City, Mo, a sanctuary city for transgender...
Supporters of a resolution that would make Kansas City, Mo, a sanctuary city for transgender people celebrate outside of city council chambers after a committee approved the resolution, sending it to the full council for consideration, Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. The move comes in the wake of Missouri legislators voting to ban gender-affirming care and trans athletes. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)