Philadelphia has become a safe haven for trans people seeking gender-affirming healthcare.
On Tuesday (17 October), mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order at City Hall, giving anyone who goes to the state access to treatment.
The executive order prohibits the local government from using any resources to assist states seeking to investigate or punish people for providing or receiving gender-affirming care in the Pennsylvanian city, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Ahead of signing executive order 4-23, Kenney said: “We won’t help those who seek to discriminate against trans people.”
Sultan Shakir, the president and executive officer of the Mazzoni Center, a not-for-profit LGBTQ+ health care provider in Philadelphia, said patients visiting the centre want to be treated in a way that allows them to live their authentic lives.
“Today’s executive order also sends a message that we respect and value our medical providers here in Philadelphia,” Shakir said.
Other Democratic-led cities have adopted similar protections for trans people.
Rise in anti-trans bills
In June, New York City mayor Eric Adams signed executive order 32, which not only guarantees access to gender-affirming healthcare, but also prohibits prosecution of those who seek it.
It comes as many Republican-led legislatures restrict access to gender-affirming care.
According to the Trans Legislation Tracker, so far this year there have been 84 anti-trans bills passed out of a proposed 583 across the country.
In 2022, only 26 bills were passed out of a proposed 174.