California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed a new law that allows transgender inmates to be placed in prisons based on their gender identity.<
What’s more, guards must address the inmates using their preferred pronouns.
“The Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act notes that officers must privately ask inmates during the intake process on how they identify as. Transgender, nonbinary, or intersex inmates can request to be placed in a facility that houses either men or women based on how they identify as,” The Blaze reported.
Previously, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [CDCR] housed men and women in separate correctional facilities, and transgender inmates were housed based on their biological sex. The new California law will allow transgender inmates to be housed based on their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth.
The Hill reported that the CDCR cannot deny requests solely because of inmates’ anatomy or sexual orientation. When a request is denied, the state must provide a written statement to the inmate explaining the decision and give them an opportunity to object.”
“California has some of the strongest pro LGBTQ+ laws in the nation and with the bills signed today, our march toward equality takes an additional step forward,” Newsom said in a statement.
“These new laws will help us better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community, establish a new fund to support our transgender sisters and brothers and advance inclusive and culturally competent efforts that uphold the dignity of all Californians, regardless of who you are or who you love.”
Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco who authored the bill, said it will “particularly trans women who are subject to high levels of assault and harassment in men’s facilities.”
“It’s just a false narrative about transgender people and about transgender women in particular that they’re somehow not really women and are just trying to scam their way into women’s bathrooms or facilities in order to do bad things,” Wiener said. “Overwhelmingly the people who are being victimized are trans people.”