CA Gov. Newsom Signs Bill Establishing Taxpayer-Subsidized Transgender Equity Fund

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation (AB 2218) Saturday that establishes a “Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund” that may be used for transgender medical interventions and surgeries, many of which are known to cause sterility.

“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,” said Newsom about AB 2218 and other LGBTQ measures such as SB 132, which allows biological male inmates who claim to be women to be housed in women’s prisons. He went on:

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.

Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) expressed strong opposition to AB 2218 and SB 132:

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D) introduced AB 2218 to establish the Transgender Equity Fund to:

…assist organizations serving people that identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, or intersex (TGI), and help create or fund TGI-specific housing programs and partnerships with hospitals, health care clinics and other medical providers to provide TGI-focused health care.

Santiago commented on the governor signing the legislation:

This is a critical measure for our transgender community and I thank Governor Newsom for his steadfast leadership in signing AB 2218. California’s TGI community has long faced obstacles in receiving safe, non-discriminatory, comprehensive care, and COVID-19 has exacerbated these existing health care disparities. This bill will help create programs where TGI-identified people can receive safe, competent, and inclusive health care and other social services.

Newsom also signed SB 932, which requires “more timely collection and reporting of communicable disease data from providers and laboratories on a patient’s gender identity and sexual orientation,” his office stated.

“This legislation will provide public health officials with more information on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, which is essential to addressing health inequities and designing public health interventions that help California’s diverse communities,” the press statement added.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who introduced SB 132 and SB 932, thanked Newsom for “again proving you are a champion for LGBTQ people.”

Wiener also introduced the highly controversial new law that will give judges in California greater discretion to decide whether adults who commit sodomy with minors should be placed on the state’s sex offender registry.

He said:

SB 132 is life-saving legislation that will protect trans people in prison, particularly trans women who are subject to high levels of assault and harassment in men’s facilities. And, SB 932 ensures our community will no longer be invisible, and that we will be counted by our public health system. Today is a great day for California’s LGBTQ community and yet another example of California’s deep commitment to LGBTQ equality.

A poll released in early September, sponsored by WoLF, found 74 percent of likely California voters oppose policies that allow children who claim to be transgender to receive hormone and surgical treatments that could render them sterile.

The survey also found 63 percent of likely voters disapprove of AB 2218 and the establishment of a taxpayer-subsidized “Transgender Wellness Fund.”

Regarding SB 132, 46 percent disagree with allowing men to demand to be placed in women’s prisons, and another 15 percent were unsure of their view.

“While we’re disappointed that even 38 percent of Californians support the idea of putting male inmates in women’s prisons, these polling results demonstrate that a majority of voters … largely support policies that are based on an accurate recognition of biological sex,” Natasha Chart, board chair of the Women’s Liberation Front, said in a statement.


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