An executive order that Mayor Adams signed on Monday will now protect gender-affirming procedures, including hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery.
The decision bars the city from assisting with out-of-state investigations based on gender-affirming therapies permitted in New York State but illegal elsewhere. It also prohibits public resources from imprisoning individuals who provide legally permissible gender-affirming care.
“This executive order reaffirms the fact that hate has no place in our city and that all people deserve the right to gender-affirming care and protection against prosecution for being who they are,” Adams said in a written statement on Monday morning. “To LGBTQ+ people across the nation feeling hurt, isolated, or threatened, we have a clear message: New York City has and will always be a welcoming home for you.”
Adams’ executive order is a response to other recent laws outside of New York State that prevent children from receiving gender-affirming care, such as hormone replacement therapy, communication therapy, and gender reassignment surgery.
These operations, particularly reassignment surgery, have come under fire from many quarters, particularly in areas with a Republican majority. A minimum of 34 states have also taken action to prohibit similar therapies for adults.
The treatments can result in irreparable harm, according to opponents of gender reassignment, and teenagers shouldn’t be permitted to undergo them since they cannot give informed permission.
However, proponents assert that such operations are frequently required for transgender and nonbinary people’s mental health.
Adams emphasized that numerous medical societies in the United States have endorsed these treatments for those experiencing gender dysphoria in his remarks on Monday.
Adams’ executive order is premised on the idea that states may ask local jurisdictions, like New York City, to detain a healthcare professional if they break a statute prohibiting gender-affirming care in another state before traveling to New York.
In essence, the order bans the city from taking such action.
“New York City is doing what we have always done — standing up for justice and against discrimination,” Adams said.
It comes at a time when the City Council is debating a similar bill. Councilwoman Crystal Hudson (D-Brooklyn), the bill’s sponsor, stated on Monday that getting the measure into law is essential to prevent future administrations from “stripping LGBTQIA+ folks of these rights.”