Tags: california | gender | pronoun | law

California's Gender Pronoun Law Can Make You a Criminal, Get You Jailed

Image: California's Gender Pronoun Law Can Make You a Criminal, Get You Jailed

California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks before signing a number of bills to help address housing needs Friday, Sept. 29, 2017, in San Francisco. Brown signed legislation  aimed at tackling California's growing affordable housing crisis. More than a dozen bills make up the package Brown will sign outside a San Francisco affordable housing complex. (Eric Risberg/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 October 2017 07:00 AM

California’s new gender pronoun provision makes you a criminal and can get you jailed if you don’t refer to gays and transsexuals by their preferences, Fox News reported, with some conservatives calling the legislation "alarming."

The law, originally Senate Bill 219 signed into law on Oct. 4 by Gov. Jerry Brown, sought to protect transgender and other LGBT individuals in hospitals, retirement homes, and assisted living facilities, wrote Fox News.

The new law ensures that the facilities accommodate transgender people and their needs, including letting them decide which gender-specific bathroom they prefer to use, the network stated.

Tucked into the law is a provision that makes it unlawful for "willfully and repeatedly failing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns."

Violators of the provisions in the law could be charged with a misdemeanor, meaning that they could be fined up to $1,000 fine or jailed up to one year in California.

"Radical gender theory has real, negative consequences for society," Brad Dacus, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute said in March when the bill was still being debated. "All of us should be alarmed by the attempt to now criminalize the use of legal names and grammatically correct pronouns in nursing homes. We believe this bill is not only unconstitutional, but unconscionable."

The bill's sponsor, State Sen. Scott Weiner, called such criticism of the bill misleading and that no one will go to jail over the bill.

"This argument is as absurd as it is misleading, and anyone with integrity would dismiss it out of hand," Weiner wrote in a BuzzFeed News column in September. "… The claim is absurd because the bill doesn't create any new criminal penalties.

"Instead, under already existing law governing residential care facilities, violations can be charged as misdemeanors — but only if patients are exposed to the risk of death, serious physical harm, or other similarly serious factors. No one is going to jail for using the wrong pronoun, just as nobody goes to jail for violating other provisions, like failing to provide an interpreter or not observing a smoking ban," Weiner continued.

Fox News wrote that Greg Burt, of the California Family Council, though, criticized the law in front of the California Assembly Judiciary Committee before it was passed, according to CBN News.

"How can you believe in free speech, but think the government can compel people to use certain pronouns when talking to others?" Burt he said to the committee, according to CBN News. "Compelled speech is not free speech. Can the government compel a newspaper to use certain pronouns that aren't even in the dictionary? Of course not, or is that coming next?"

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California’s new gender pronoun provision makes you a criminal and can get you jailed if you don’t refer to gays and transsexuals by their preferences, Fox News reported, with some conservatives calling the legislation "alarming."
california, gender, pronoun, law
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2017-00-11
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 07:00 AM
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