We recently learned that California has introduced Senate Bill 923. This legislation, if enacted, would require healthcare providers and contracted staff at insurance companies to undergo “competency training” for “trans-inclusive health care.” It would also require healthcare providers to offer publicly available directories for “trans-affirming care.” Such euphemistic language obscures the fact that this bill is an attempt to force gender ideology on the medical profession at the expense of sex-based protections. Problems with this bill include:
- Violating the free speech rights of healthcare professionals who do not subscribe to gender ideology by a) forcing them to comply with scientifically and ethically dubious trainings, b) forcing said professionals back into competency training if they are found to be insufficiently “trans-affirming,” and c) making it a criminal offense for healthcare service plans to refuse to implement the protocols required in the bill.
- Explicitly enabling the California Transgender Advisory Council to help facilitate such training. This Council is an unelected group of activists at the behest of the Lieutenant Governor’s office with little accountability for or transparency about their interests.
- Defining “gender-affirming” care in terms of physical medical interventions (e.g., hormones and surgeries) while ignoring non-medical treatments for what is known as gender dysphoria, the discomfort/hatred of one’s sex or the roles assigned to that sex.
- Ignoring the physical, medical, and psychological needs of detransitioners.
- Conflating sexual orientation and intersex conditions with gender identity.
- Failing to define gender or gender identity.
Gender identity ideology is a belief system that denies the reality and significance of biological sex in life, law, and language. As biological sex is the sole basis of sexual orientation, this ideology is inherently homophobic; additionally, it reinforces regressive gender roles by claiming that one’s appearance, personality, presentation, interests, etc. determine one’s manhood or womanhood. This belief system operates through the strategic use of deliberately misleading language: what is being called “gender-affirming,” “trans-inclusive,” and “healthcare” is, in reality, a new form of conversion therapy for LGB and gender-nonconforming youth. Gender-nonconforming children, most of whom grow up to be lesbian, gay, or bisexual, are being told their failure to conform to gender norms means that, in order to be happy and accepted in society, they should embark upon dangerous, painful, lifelong medicalization to make their bodies more closely “match” their personality and/or sexual orientation.
Consequently, LGB Alliance USA would like to offer our strong opposition to SB 923.