Make Massachusetts A ‘Sanctuary’ For Transgender Kids, Says Cambridge School Committee

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School officials in Cambridge are calling for Massachusetts to become a “sanctuary” for children who identify as transgender.

The Cambridge School Committee, an elected board that oversees the public schools in the city of Cambridge, has approved a resolution calling for Massachusetts to respond to states that have passed legislation that prohibits medical transition for minors.

“I think we’ve all seen the news about children who are trans, and their families really being persecuted in states across this country,” said Rachel Weinstein, vice chairman of the school committee, during a meeting Tuesday, June 7. “I think it’s really important that we speak out on this for a number of reasons. One is for families and children in other parts of the country who are suffering right now to hear another voice and value for their life and their access to appropriate medical care. And the other is for young people right here at home — that they should see us taking action.”

“We should be loudly protesting what is happening with policy discrimination in this country,” Weinstein added.

The concept of a sanctuary state for transgender kids is comparable to sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. Eleven states have municipalities that identify as sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants. These cities offer limited cooperation or no cooperation with federal immigration officials.

In Cambridge, three members of the school committee made a joint motion calling on the Massachusetts Legislature “to join with other states in the passage of so-called ‘sanctuary’ laws to ensure transgender children and their families have ‘the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquility, their natural rights and the blessings of life,’ as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Massachusetts.”

The members who sponsored the resolution are Sumbul Siddiqui, the mayor of Cambridge and chairman of the school committee; Weinstein; and committee member José Luis Rojas Villarreal.

In 2021, Arkansas passed a law banning “transition-related health care,” but a judge issued a temporary injunction in July 2021. Arkansas is appealing the decision.

Texas’s Family Services Department has initiated investigations of families seeking to have their kids transition. A judge issued an injunction against those investigations this past March. The Texas Supreme Court reinstated them in May, although the court also ruled that the governor and attorney general could not order the investigations.

While no state has yet become a “sanctuary” for transgender youth officially, California is getting close to passing such a bill.

In May 2022, it was reported that other states were considering legislation similar to the proposed measure in California. Massachusetts currently is not among them.

During the meeting in Cambridge on Monday, the entire committee agreed to become co-sponsors of the resolution. Weinstein was the only member who spoke substantively about it. The vote to adopt was unanimous.

NewBostonPost contacted each member of the Cambridge School Committee, asking how each would like to see transgender kids protected in Massachusetts. None responded by deadline.

During the committee meeting all members had one or more little rainbow pride flags in front of them.


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