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October 11, 2011 Print

California Governor Signs Two Transgender Bills

by Karla Dial

On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that extend special protections to transgender people.

According to a news release from Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, who introduced one of the bills in February, “AB 887 takes existing protections based on gender identity and expression and enumerates them as protected categories in nondiscrimination laws. In addition, the bill clarifies that gender identity and expression are included in the definition of gender and sex in all California codes.”

Six governmental departments — civil, education, government, insurance, labor and penal — are affected. That means, for example, employers have to allow men to dress like women at work, if that’s their means of “gender expression.”

AB 433, authored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, changes the laws regulating the way transgender people get new IDs and updated birth certificates. Previously, applications for an ID reflecting a gender change had to be accompanied by a doctor’s note saying sex-reassignment surgery had been performed; it also included room for third parties to file objections.

The new law deletes the provisions for objections, and makes the doctor’s note “conclusive proof of gender change.”

“We think that it could be a problem for law enforcement,” said California Family Policy Council Executive Director Ron Prentice. “In some ways, it could erase previous existence for people who change their birth certificate and their name. It continues to chip away at the concept of gender being biological.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read AB 887. 

Read AB 433.



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