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California Legislature Takes its Gender Revolution to the Prisons

For the last several years California legislators have been ramping up their efforts to legally obliterate male and female definitions by disconnecting the legal link between biology and a person’s sex or gender. In 2017, the state legislators legalized letting Californians pick their sex on birth certificates and driver’s licenses, no questions asked. That included creating a catch-all sex, non-binary, for those who didn’t identify as a man or a woman. This year the gender revolution continues for state inmates and for those wanting to change their sex designation on marriage licenses and the birth certificates of their children.

Tomorrow, the Senate Public Safety Committee will hear Senate Bill 132, a bill that lets inmates decide their own sex at any moment in time, and then requires correction officials refer to them by that sex and to house them with other inmates of the same sex. The author, LGBT Caucus Chair Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), says the bill is necessary to protect transgender identified people from “physical assaults” and to preserve their “basic dignity,” and “respect.” But Wiener doesn’t seem to care about the privacy and dignity concerns of real, biological women, who would have to share personal, intimate living space with any male inmate claiming to be a woman.

“Biological sex is not arbitrary. The legislature is increasing dangers for both inmates and correctional officers by attempting to let prisoners self-determine their sex,” California Family Council President Jonathan Keller said. “Even in prison, males and females are guaranteed a constitutional right to privacy. The legislature should not victimize prisoners, especially biological women, by requiring them to allow members of the opposite sex into facilities that are currently female-only or male-only. This bill is a recipe for complete chaos in our state’s correctional facilities.”

Besides the privacy issues, SB 132 violates the First Amendment rights of correction officers and contractors by forcing them affirm a lie regarding an inmate’s perceived identity. The bill states that, “staff and contractors of the department shall consistently use the gender pronoun and honorific an individual has specified in all verbal and written communications with or regarding the individual that involve use of a pronoun and honorific.” An honorific means, the use of Mr., Ms., or the gender neutral “Mx.”

The other gender bill to be heard in committee this week is Senate Bill 741. LGBT Caucus member Senator Cathleen Galgiani introduced this bill to enable people to change the sex designation on their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children, so it matches their gender identity even it that conflicts with their biological sex. The Senate Health Committee will consider SB 741 on Wednesday.

This bill comes on the heals of SB 179, passed in 2017, which restructured the processes for individuals to change their names and their sex designation on their birth certificates so they conformed with their subjective gender identity. Back when that bill came up for consideration, Keller argued against letting people put false information on government documents. Those strong sentiment are identical for SB 741.

“We believe government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” Keller said. “Secondly, the bill advances a falsehood; that being male or female, or no gender at all is a choice each person must make, not a fact to celebrate and accept. Laws like this will simply erase any meaningful gender definitions, if being male or female is completely divorced from biological facts.”


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