If Senate Bill 219 passes the California House and is signed by its governor, nursing home workers in California could be fined $1,000 and spend a year in prison for calling a “transgender” resident of a nursing home by the wrong name or pronoun. The bill, which was first promoted by Equality California, also requires long-term care facilities to accommodate “transgender” bathrooms and showers, no matter whether the facility is Christian-owned or not.
Says California Family Council’s Greg Burt, “We need to treat each other with respect, but respect is a two-way street. It is not respectful to threaten people with punishment for having sincerely held beliefs that differ from your own.”
SB 219, or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights, defines gender identity as self-identified and states that a patient’s wishes must be followed regardless of what a spouse, family member, or lawyer might want. The bill is unique in that laws on professional-client speech are not usually criminal, but civil matters. If the bill gets signed into law, it could be applied to other employers, landlords, professionals, or businesses.
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