California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that directs the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to begin incarcerating inmates on the basis of their professed gender identity rather than biological sex.
The new law will require law enforcement officers to privately inquire of incoming prisoners whether they identify as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex prior to assigning them a facility. Even if officers have security concerns, any denial of their preferred housing must include a written explanation and be subject to appeal.
Boasting that this action is part of his state's ongoing "march toward equality," Newsom celebrated the law as another "step forward" for LGBT citizens.
"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," Newsom said.
🔦 California now follows Rhode Island and Massachusetts as the third state with such laws. New York City also has a similar policy for incarceration.