(Headline USA) Officials in Missouri’s largest city approved a resolution Thursday to declare it a “sanctuary” for people seeking or providing life-altering gender-transition surgeries, defying state lawmakers who voted a day earlier to ban such care for minors and restrict it for some adults.
Democrat Mayor Quinton Lucas praised the 12 to 1 vote, saying the city is committed to being a “welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for everyone, including our transgender and LGBTQ+ community.”
Kansas City’s new, so-called sanctuary status sets it apart as a Democrat-leaning city in a state with a Republican governor and GOP-controlled Legislature.
Similar actions have been taken in cities such as Austin, Texas, following the same template used during the Trump administration to refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
Meanwhile, in conservative enclaves in blue states that have sought to respond in kind on matters such as abortion and gun rights, leftist leaders have lashed out indignantly and accused them of undermining the rule of law while threatening to bring the full force of government down upon them.
Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, is expected to sign into law the ban on the transgender surgeries, joining at least 16 other states that have enacted similar laws restricting or banning such procedures for minors.
They argue that children may not fully understand the implications of permanent sterilization and genital mutilation while under the influence of peer pressure and indoctrination from social media and other institutions—sometimes including teachers and parents.
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 transgender 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 undergo procedures such as as puberty blockers, hormones or surgery.
It also says 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.”
“This is an important first step in Kansas City’s commitment to trans and nonbinary people,” Merrique Jenson, founder of Transformations KC, said in a written statement after the vote.
“I look forward to trans leaders and Kansas City working together to address the health disparities in our communities and ways we can have sustainable funding & programming reaching all trans people,” Jenson added.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press