Free Speech Victory Over Pronouns In California

     California, which has a history of punishing thoughtcriminals over doubleplusungood views of transgenderism, has just had its law, that punished healthcare workers who “misgender” patients with up to a year in jail, overturned by a California Court of Appeals in the court case of “Taking Offense vs. California”.

“‘As we discuss at greater length post, we recognize the State has a compelling interest in eliminating discrimination against residents of long term care facilities,’ said the justices. ‘However, we conclude the pronoun provision is not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government objective because it burdens speech more than is required to achieve the State’s compelling objective. Accordingly, the provision does not survive strict scrutiny.’”

     They key passage of the opinion is that “the restriction on speech is content neutral because pronouns are merely stand-ins for nouns and are not ideological messages”, moreover:

“But the Legislature understood the importance of pronouns’ content and, thereby, their meaning, in this context, to the point that it passed a law criminalizing misgendering transgender residents of long-term care facilities. We recognize that misgendering may be disrespectful, discourteous, and insulting, and used as an inartful way to express an ideological disagreement with another person’s expressed gender identity. But the First Amendment does not protect only speech that inoffensively and artfully articulates a person’s point of view. At the very least, willful refusal to refer to transgender persons by their preferred pronouns conveys general disagreement with the concept that a person’s gender identity may be different from the sex the person was assigned at birth. Consistent with the Legislature’s findings in enacting section 1439.51, we conclude misgendering does indeed convey an ideological message.”

     This may still end up being reversed by the California Supreme Court, with dubious chances that the United States Supreme Court even addresses it.

     The ruling, in full:

Taking Offense vs. California by ThePoliticalHat

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