Monday, May 07, 2018

A New Law!

Last week the Senate and House passed a bill that the governor said he will sign that will require the Department of Corrections to house us in the prison of our gender identity.

Sometimes amendments are added to bills that can change the meaning of the bill, sometimes it is a poison pill to defeat the bill, sometimes it enhances the bill or clarifies some questions that came up in committee. I found last weekend that there is a bill being heard in the legislature that affects us. I was at a GLAD fundraiser when I found out about the bill about incarceration of women in prison. A friend, former classmate, and the community organizer for a non-profit told me about the amendment to SB13 which reads…
Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) Any inmate of a correctional institution, as defined in Sec. 18-78, who has a gender identity that differs from the inmate’s sex assigned at birth and has a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, as set forth in the most current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, shall: (a) be addressed in a manner consistent with the inmate’s gender identity; (b) be provided with access to commissary items, clothing, programming, educational materials and personal property that are consistent with the inmate’s gender identity; and (c) have the right to be searched by a staff member of the same gender identity, unless the inmate requests otherwise or under exigent circumstances. An inmate who has a birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license that reflects their gender identity or who can meet the standard for obtaining such a document to confirm the inmate’s gender identity shall be presumptively placed in a correctional institution with inmates of the gender consistent with the inmate’s gender identity. That presumption can be overcome by the institution’s demonstration that the placement would present significant safety, management, or security problems.  In making determinations pursuant to this section, the inmate’s own views with respect to his or her own safety shall be given serious consideration.
The bill itself is about providing proper feminine healthcare products and pregnancy healthcare for the inmates. Our section was added by the ACLU and GLAD to codifying the DOC administrative directive regarding gender non-conforming folks in the system (I didn’t even know this existed!). Notice the part that says “or who can meet the standard for obtaining such a document to confirm the inmate’s gender identity shall be presumptively placed in a correctional institution with inmates of the gender consistent with the inmate’s gender identity.” that means that trans inmates who cannot afford to have therapy or to change their documents can still be housed in a facility of their gender identity. Thanks to GLAD and the ACLU we will have one of the strongest statutes in the country to protect transgender people who are incarcerated!

The fundraiser honored Nancy Wyman the Lieutenant Governor before she was the Lt. Gov. she was the State Comptroller, and she has a strong history of supporting LGBT rights.

I do think that it is a little bit ironic that it is section 8... Al la M.A.S.H., Kliger, and Section 8

Having laws is one thing, knowing about them and enforcing them are other problems that need to be overcome. If you are arrested and or detained for using the bathroom because they don’t know the law is no comfort as you are sitting there behind bars.
Transgender woman sues SF, alleging discrimination in denial of restroom
San Francisco Chronicle
By Bob Egelko
May 4, 2018

A transgender woman is suing San Francisco, saying her rights were violated when a city employee refused to let her use a women’s restroom on city property during an organized event and later called her a “freak” and a “f—ing man.”
Tanesh Nutall was attending a city-sponsored training session in February 2016 when she encountered the employee, who worked for the Department of Police Accountability, an oversight agency formerly known as the Office of Citizen Complaints. She said she was so traumatized by how she was treated that she suffered a nervous breakdown and left her job with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, where she had worked as an AIDS educator and transgender program manager.
In a court filing seeking dismissal of the state agency’s lawsuit, City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office argued that the laws prohibiting discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation apply only to businesses and state-funded programs, and not to the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability or its staff.
The Transgender Law Center which is based in San Francisco said…
“They’re claiming that the city of San Francisco ... has the right to discriminate against trans community members who walk into government buildings,” said Jill Marcellus, spokeswoman for the law center. “This is an alarming departure from the public face that San Francisco presents as a leader on trans rights.”
It is of no help to us as we are harassed for doing what is legal.

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