A law moving its way through the state’s legislature would effectively criminalize the ‘misgendering’ of certain trans citizens.
By Elliot Kaufman | 25 August 2017
NATIONAL REVIEW — California may see itself as a leader on criminal-justice reform, but it is on its way to creating a whole new class of criminals: citizens who use “him” to refer to a man and “her” for a woman.
The “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights” has already been passed by California’s state senate and unanimously recommended by its state assembly’s judiciary committee. It would impose left-wing dogma by force of law if it gets much further.
For now it is limited to nursing homes and intermediate-care facilities, but there is no reason for it to stop there. According to First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, it is “pretty unlikely that, if this law is enacted, such prohibitions would be limited just to this [nursing home] scenario.” The focus on nursing homes, one suspects, was chosen not because there is an epidemic of elderly transgender people being “misgendered” by their caretakers, but simply because the elderly make for a particularly sympathetic test case.
However, our sympathy should also extend to the caretakers. If one of their residents wants to be called “ze” and “zir” — or really anything else, according to the law — they had better think twice before refusing. While New York City threatens all employers and landlords with large fines for refusing to use an individual’s preferred pronouns, California’s politicians are going further — they want jail time for dissenters. […]