The Truth is Powerful

Court rules that care facilities have a free speech right to misgender transgender elders

A California appellate court ruled that requiring elder care staff to use the correct pronouns for transgender and non-binary people is a violation of their free speech rights.

“The Court’s decision is disconnected from the reality facing transgender people,” said out state Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who sponsored a law passed in 2017 that required long-term care facilities to treat LGBTQ people equally.

Related: This amazing trans high school student is speaking out against a bigoted teacher

“Deliberately misgendering a transgender person isn’t just a matter of opinion, and it’s not simply ‘disrespectful, discourteous, or insulting.’ Rather, it’s straight up harassment,” he continued . “And, it erases an individual’s fundamental humanity, particularly one as vulnerable as a trans senior in a nursing home. This misguided decision cannot be allowed to stand.”

California passed the LGBTQ Long-Term Care Facility Residents’ Bill of Rights four years ago, intended to protect LGBTQ elders in long-term care facilities, an acute problem considering many don’t have family members to advocate for them.

A year after the law was passed, lawyer David Llewellyn sued the state of California on behalf of unnamed plaintiffs that called themselves “Taking Offense.” He argued that the law violated long-term care facilities’ employees’ […]

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