Well, it’s official. The world has gone PC coo-coo, and California is leading the charge. There is no other way to describe it.
On October 4th, 2017, the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed legislation that will make lodging and showering facilities in aged-care homes effectively unisex — regardless how the residents feel about it — and send carers (nurses and doctors) to jail for up to one year if they mispronounce someone’s name. SB-219 amends the Health and Safety Code, adding clauses that are filled with ambiguity.
While it may seem like I’m making a joke about it, I’m not. It’s all a matter of wording, and how people can interpret those words. This is a can of worms that is about to wriggle all across the ground, out of control.
California has always been a forward-thinking state, thanks to the culture inspired by Hollywood. However, Californians have also been thought of as spending too much time in the sun, baking the neurons in the brain. This recent move by Californian politicians is only going to make things worse, leaving many to wonder how much funny cake they’ve been eating. (I feel safe in saying this, because I too am a Californian. It’s where I was born and bred.)
Let me stress that I’m for equality for all. I don’t care where people’s sexual orientations lie. It makes no difference to me if someone wants to be thought of as a female when they were born a male (or vice versa). I don’t care what religion you might practice, as long as you show me the same respect that I afford you for your practices. And the color of one’s skin is not something that they can control, so why should it matter if your skin is grimy pink, a dark brown, tan, orange, yellow or blue? (However, if your skin is blue, I will be asking what happened, because curiosity will get the better of me. I personally associate blue skin with bruising or the lack of breathing. Or soaking in toilet cleaner. If you don’t get that last one, watch the movie Abyss.)
The number of news articles that have been released about what SB-219 can mean have skyrocketed, with articles being found on Fox News, CNN, BBC and a whole range of other sources. However, for this post, I decided that it was best to go back to the source of the lunacy: the bill itself, which can be found here.
SB-219 was intended to improve the issues surrounding negative treatment of LGBT elderly (and others entrusted to long-term care). I support the spirit of the bill, but there is a BIG difference between the spirit of a bill and the wording.
Wording can make all the difference in how something is interpreted.
Let’s take this sticky clause by horribly worded clause.
1439.51. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), it shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status:
(1) Deny admission to a long-term care facility, transfer or refuse to transfer a resident within a facility to another facility, or discharge or evict a resident from a facility.
I have no issue with this particular clause. Except with the way this is worded, a facility is not allowed to admit or discharge a resident. So, when this law takes effect, the number of residents that they have at the time is ALL they are allowed to have, and those residents will only be allowed to leave when they die — but maybe not even then, because that would be evicting a resident. It doesn’t matter that the dead body can be a health hazard to the rest of the residents, but hey… What do I know?
(2) Deny a request by residents to share a room.
Again, I don’t really have an issue with this. Except in the case where Resident A makes a request to share a room with Resident B, but Resident B doesn’t want to share a room with Resident A. Now, in the case where Resident C and D want to share a room, I don’t have any issue with it at all. Two consenting adults should be allowed to room together.
(3) Where rooms are assigned by gender, assigning, reassigning, or refusing to assign a room to a transgender resident other than in accordance with the transgender resident’s gender identity, unless at the transgender resident’s request.
So… Grandma Tilly no longer has a say in whether her roommate has a penis or not, as long as the one who is moving into the room identifies with being a female. As long as the transgender person wants it to happen… Sorry, grandma. The law says you have to share your room with a man… I mean woman… I mean… I have no idea how to classify that person.
(4) Prohibit a resident from using, or harass a resident who seeks to use or does use, a restroom available to other persons of the same gender identity, regardless of whether the resident is making a gender transition or appears to be gender-nonconforming. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, requiring a resident to show identity documents in order to gain entrance to a restroom available to others persons of the same gender identity.
Like the sharing room clause, Grandma Tilly has no say. To make matters worse, with this clause, some jerk could pull on the loophole that is glaringly obvious in this clause and use that restroom no matter what. They don’t have to prove that they’re male or female. They can use whatever restroom they feel like. (Does anyone else foresee a sexual assault in the works here?)
(5) Willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronouns after being clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.
How many of us come across people that have names that we honestly can’t pronounce? Me… Well… It took me six years to learn how to pronounce my husband’s name properly, and even after 17 years of marriage, I still get it wrong. In fact, it was the one criteria that my mother insisted on when we had children: that they had names she could pronounce. And my husband is not the only one I know who has a name I can’t pronounce. I try, but fail. In the end, I often give them a nickname, making everyone laugh. But with this clause, if I ever encountered someone who wanted to be a prick and a stickler to the rules, I could find myself in hot water, just because I can’t pronounce someone’s name.
Some will argue that this clause says preferred name, which it does. But many with foreign names want to keep their names as their preferred names. Rightly so. There will be some mean old miser that just wants to be mean and uses this clause to be a prick.
(6) Deny a resident the right to wear or be dressed in clothing, accessories, or cosmetics that are permitted for any other resident.
Remember that this is all about wording. With the way that clause is worded, staff at an aged-care facility MUST allow the old lady in room 123 to wear the clothes that belong to Grandma Tilly. And if that old lady wants to wear Grandma Tilly’s expensive pearl necklace, the staff have to allow that to happen too. Thievery takes on a whole new meaning because of this clause.
(7) Restrict a resident’s right to associate with other residents or with visitors, including the right to consensual sexual relations, unless the restriction is uniformly applied to all residents in a nondiscriminatory manner. This section does not preclude a facility from banning or restricting sexual relations, as long as the ban or restriction is applied uniformly and in a nondiscriminatory manner.
It’s actually the second sentence of this clause that is its redeeming feature. Without it, the images of residents having their way with staff and random visitors come to mind, becoming an aged-care brothel. Thankfully, a facility still has the power to regulate that.
(8) Deny or restrict medical or nonmedical care that is appropriate to a resident’s organs and bodily needs, or provide medical or nonmedical care in a manner that, to a similarly situated reasonable person, unduly demeans the resident’s dignity or causes avoidable discomfort.
Of all the clauses present in the bill, this is the only one that I actually don’t have an issue with. But why wasn’t this particular clause included in the standard rights for ALL residents? Why do they need to specifically include it for just LGBT residents? This is something that ALL residents should be entitled to.
I know that I’m being a little pessimistic here, poking what might seem like silly holes into this bill, but my readers need to remember that California has a sue culture. There are many charlatans out there who will go out of their way to file a lawsuit, taking advantage of the loopholes in the bill. If I can see the loopholes, I can guarantee that the money-hungry scumbags can see them too. And I can guarantee that someone versed in legalese can see even more loopholes in the bill.
For those who want to read the bill for themselves, you can find it here.
When will PC lunacy stop?
I’m actually an open person, and very accepting of others. I love having those “check out the tits on that woman” conversations with my guy friends, and those puppy/firemen images sent to me by my gay friends… YUMMY! I enjoy celebrating the various religious holidays with others (asking questions so I can understand). However, when politicians pass laws that start to infringe on my rights as a human being, all in the name of being politically correct, that’s when I start to have an issue.
The ambiguity of this piece of legislation is beyond lunacy. This bill obviously never went through an editor.
As a last note, I should point out that the one who wrote SB-219, goes by the name Wiener. Isn’t that one of the many names given to a certain male body organ?
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2017