State senator Scott Wiener proposed SB 219 to criminalize health care workers misgendering transgender persons. A fine of up to $1000.00 and possible jail time of 180 day in a state prison for not calling a trans person by whatever pronoun they want. This bill was carried on the Senate floor by a 26 to 12 vote; and on the Assembly floor by a vote of 55 to 19. Pandering to a community of 0.00075% of the state, many of which are not in long term care facilities.
State Senators: Anderson, Bates, Berryhill, Fuller, Gaines, Moorlach, Morrell, Nguyen, Nielsen, Stone, Vidak, Wilk voted against this bill. Assembly Persons: Acosta, Travis Allen, Bigelow, Brough, Chávez, Choi, Cunningham, Dahle, Fong, Gallagher, Harper, Kiley, Lackey, Mathis, Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Voepel, Waldron voted against this bill. All showing common sense by not pandering to such a minuscule population. There are already laws on the books to protect seniors. To apply this harsh punishment to such a slight action set a dangerous precedent.
Misgendering a person is not hate speech or a verbal attack. The number of transgender Persons In the US is around 1,400,000 people as of 2014 that is about 0.0043% of the general population. This is according to a study done by The Williams Institute in June 2016. (Sited below) There are 325,000,000 people in the US according to WorldoMeters. California is just over 10% of the population. California is #2 in transgender population; Hawaii is number #1.
The survey done by six organization(Sited below) points out that in California there were 324 Long Care Facility residents reported mistreatment. 124 were self identified as LGBT. That means of the complaints 204 were self identified as straight. On page 8 of the report the statistics are not segregated by straight and LGB or T but lumped together to give the impression that it is an elder Trans issue and not a general elder care issue. This report is sited in SB 219 as a reason to necessitate this law. If we look at the data; a case can be made that being a lesbian, gay, bi, or trans person you get better care that a straight person. 204 straight people reported mistreatment and only 124 LGBT people reported mistreatment.
According to the Williams study there were around 29,000 elderly trans people 65+ in the entire state of California in 2014. The population was 38.8 million. This is 0.00075% of the population.
Given these numbers why is this such a huge issue?
This law targets health care workers who can be fined $1000 and incarcerated for up to 180 days for a slip of the tong. That seems to be harsh. As we used to say in the Army "You just put a $50.00 charge on a $0.50 tab."
This law may cause the capable, dedicated, experienced health care worker to leave the state. With the critical shortages of Doctors, Nurses, and therapist in the rest of the country why would a health care provider stay where an eggshell skull individual can cause them so much damage; for a simple mistake. Criminalizing a slip of the tong is stupid and counterproductive. If a majority of the qualified Nurses, LPN’s, Doctors, & Therapist leave the state because they do not want to end up in jail; Who will take care of the sick, infirm, elderly, and disabled?
A point made in an Opposition Arguments presented to the legislature: The California Right to Life Committee (CRLC) wrote “SB 219 dismisses the true importance of medical care and treatment for all senior citizens by focusing on one group...” Why only put in a bill of rights for LBGT persons; why not make it for all people. Include the miss-gendering In the text of the bill.
The legislature could be tackling real problems in California: illiteracy, homelessness, polluted water ways and many other issues. Instead of wasting time on such a non-issue. I guess it makes for great sound bites and virtue signaling. Or maybe it is to distract the people from real problems such as Hollywood pedophiles running rampant, a serial rapist being protected by their sycophants.
That makes sense if you think about it. Use the Roman’s idea of “Bread and Circuses” to distract the people.