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US California requires correctional facilities to house transgender inmates based on gender identity

19:40  27 september  2020
19:40  27 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Saturday a package of measures intended to strengthen protections for LGBTQ people, including one that requires the state's correctional system to house transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people by their gender identity.

a person holding a colorful kite: Members of the transgender and gender non-binary community and their allies gather to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, 2017 at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles, California.  International Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck    (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images) © Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images Members of the transgender and gender non-binary community and their allies gather to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, 2017 at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles, California. International Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The new law, SB 132, also requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to interview and record the inmate's self-reported gender identity, gender pronouns and titles throughout their term in the facility, according to a press release from the Governor's office.

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Prisons in California are segregated by gender, and advocates say prisons are particularly dangerous for anyone who does not fit stereotypical gender roles.

A 2009 study of prison inmates in California by University of California, Irvine found that a transgender inmate is 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than the average inmate. Similarly, a federal study in 2011-2012 found that 12.2% of non-heterosexual prison inmates reported being sexually victimized by another inmate, about 10 times higher than heterosexual prison inmates.

The new law follows one passed by Connecticut in 2018 that gave inmates the right to be housed in a facility corresponding to their gender identity.

Newsom also signed into law SB 932, legislation that will provide public health officials with more information on patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The law is part of a push to address health inequities for those in the LGBTQ community due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Further, Newsom signed legislation creating a Transgender Wellness and Equity Fund, which "will 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," the governor's office said.

"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," Newsom said in a statement.

"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."

Vote for gender affirmation: Life and death choice .
In 2020, over a dozen states introduced bills to restrict access to medical treatments for transgender minors. Some bills would even make it illegal for physicians to provide gender affirmative care at all.Attempts to limit access to gender-affirming medical care is just one aspect of coordinated efforts to roll-back Obama-era rights for trans people. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) recently introduced a bill that would prevent transgender girls from competing in girls' sports.

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