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Jail time for gender pronoun offenders in California

Health care workers in California who fail to use the “preferred [gender] name or pronouns” could face jail time under a newly signed state law.

Published: October 10, 2017, 9:32 am

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    Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, who sponsored the bill, denied that offenders are to be criminally prosecuted for using the wrong pronoun.

    “It’s just more scare tactics by people who oppose all LGBT civil rights and protections,” he said in a statement last month, but the California legislator calling for jail time for caregivers refusing to us preferred names of transgender residents

    But the language in the bill allows for jail time to protect transgender and other LGBT individuals in hospitals, retirement homes and assisted living facilities.

    The clearly law states that a violator could be punished by a fine “not to exceed one thousand dollars” or “by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year,” or both.

    The bill was voted to “accommodate transgender people and their needs, including letting them decide which gender-specific bathroom they prefer to use” Fox News reported.

    “It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status,” the bill states.

    The unlawful actions include “willfully and repeatedly” failing to address a transgender correctly after he or she is “clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns”.

    Wiener’s office claims the law “does not create any new criminal provisions,” but instead creates “new rights within an existing structure”.

    California Family Council’s Greg Burt, slammed the bill even in the early stages. “How can you believe in free speech, but think the government can compel people to use certain pronouns when talking to others?” he told the California Assembly Judiciary Committee in August, according to CBN News.

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