Published On: Sun, Jul 18th, 2021

California Appeals Court Overturns Anti-Misgendering Law on First Amendment Grounds

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A California appeals court struck down as unconstitutional a state law that penalized elder-care workers for using pronouns inconsistent with elderly long-term care patients’ claimed gender identity. Gender identity is a disputed concept. A lack of linguistic clarity has clouded the issue in recent years as the concepts of sex and sexual identity, or gender, a politically and scientifically contentious concept whose definition isn’t universally agreed upon, have become difficult to separate. Despite the distinct meanings of the two words, many institutions and individuals use “gender” to mean biological sex, especially on fillable forms and documents. Failing to use gender in its new meaning can be costly nowadays. A New York human rights law banning gender identity discrimination imposes fines of up to $250,000 for failing to use a person’s preferred personal pronouns. Social media giant Twitter bans users for “misgendering” or “deadnaming” transgender people, categorizing it as harassment and abuse. Deadnaming is referring …

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