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Proposal passes to make Milwaukee County a sanctuary county for transgender, non-binary people

A proposal to make Milwaukee County a sanctuary county for transgender and non-binary people passed the County Board of Supervisors 12-4 on Thursday.
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Posted at 12:31 PM, Sep 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-22 07:01:45-04

MILWAUKEE COUNTY — A proposal to make Milwaukee County a sanctuary county for transgender and non-binary people passed the County Board of Supervisors 12-4 on Thursday.

"I'm excited that the resolution was passed. I think anything towards progression is a good thing," Cameron Overton said.

Cameron Overton and his partner Jonah Overton are both transgender pastors in Milwaukee County. They both said this resolution is only a first step.

"While we are excited about this, I think we should really take seriously the threat that exists for trans and non-binary people," Jonah Overton explained.

It's a resolution the County Board of Supervisors has been looking at for weeks.

"Trans and non-binary people are under attack nationwide and in the state of Wisconsin. The resolution today that passed the board is a bold statement that trans and non-binary people are seen and loved," District 15 Supervisor, Peter Burgelis, said.

Burgelis was one of many county leaders pushing for this resolution.

The resolution that passed through the board states that Milwaukee County values its transgender and non-binary residents and opposes measures that would allow legal violence toward trans people in accessing gender-affirming care or expression.

It also states that the county board of supervisors is committed to protecting transgender and non-binary folks and believes access to healthcare is a fundamental right for all people in the county and the state. Specifically, the resolution states that includes gender-affirming care.

This means that if the state legislature passes laws that impose punishments, fines, or sanctions for any person who seeks, provides, or receives gender-affirming care, the board would "urge" the sheriff's office to make enforcement their lowest priority.

Some supervisors who voted against the resolution said this is premature.

"I think that we're doing a disservice to our public to preemptively say any rules that come forward in this category, we don't care what new information might be out, what testimony might be out, what elected officials might decide, we don't like what they'll decide in the future," District 18 Supervisor, Deanna Alexander, said.

As this resolution goes into place, folks like Cameron and Jonah Overton said more still needs to be done after this.

"Resources that the county could be providing that could absolutely make this a sanctuary for trans people. Resources like housing, resources like health care, resources like violence prevention," Cameron Overton said.

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