As Leftists move into local and state governments, it was only a matter of time before they started criminalizing those who disagree with them.
Now, California has passed a bill through its state Senate which will criminalize “knowingly” using the wrong gender pronoun for patients in nursing homes and other care facilities, according to a report from National Review.
The bill, “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights,” will be voted on by California legislators this week.
No language in the bill defines “knowingly,” setting a potential legal problem for police and judges who will have to use the standard to make judgments. The bill also demands not just fines for those who transgress pronoun demands, as in New York, but jail time. The penalty is a maximum fine of $1,000 and a maximum of a year in jail.
That may seem like a small sentence, but when a person could be charged for even accidentally referring to a transgender patient as “he” instead of “she” or “xhe,” a year of life behind bars is a huge penalty to pay. The law also leaves no room for objectors who would choose to use a person’s biological pronouns as a form of rejection of Leftist dogma, with no hate meant towards the individual.
Eugene Volokh, a First Amendment scholar and professor at UCLA, said that regulations about speech in the workplace is generally a matter of civil law, and quite strictly defined as speech to the patient, while this law extends to speech about the patient. Meaning that even when talking to coworkers, a nursing home employee in California would have to refer to a transgender patient as the pronoun they have chosen.
In Volokh’s piece in The Washington Post, he argues, “it strikes me as pretty unlikely that, if this law is enacted, such prohibitions would be limited just to this scenario.” He compares the Californian bill to similar legislation in New York, which extends to all landlords, business professionals, and business owners.
If this bill is passed, Californian lawmakers will turn their efforts to limiting their citizen’s speech in other areas, not just nursing homes.
The California Senator who wrote the bill, Scott Weiner, sees the legislation as a simple matter of law. “Everyone is entitled to their religious view,” Weiner argues. “But when you enter the public space, when you are running an institution, you are in a workplace, you are in a civil setting, and you have to follow the law.”
California is proposing a law which will criminalize “knowingly” using the wrong gender pronoun for patients in nursing homes and other care facilities. If you disagree with the gender pronoun nonsense, should it be a crime?
While his statement true, that doesn’t mean this law is viable under the Constitution. Potentially, it violates not only freedom of speech, but religious rights, as many who object to using preferred pronouns do so on religious grounds. It is certainly possible, as the Daily Wire mentions, that those who are first charged under this law will seek to have the law struck down for violating the Constitution.
Californians have already taken a stand against the bill. The California Family Council sent a representative to speak before the assembly, who asked, “How can you believe in free speech, but think the government can compel people to use certain pronouns when talking to others?”
Americans should take note of this form of censorship occuring in California. If Democrats have their way–and the GOP continues to vote against party lines–the same measures could be taken in other states.