New San Diego County Law Revises the Meaning of the Word “Women” to Include Just About Anyone

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a definition of the term “woman” that would reportedly allow biological males who identify as females to be classified as women in homeless and domestic-violence shelters–covering biological men living in shelters due to domestic violence. This is the pathway to disaster. The law was passed on April 26 and officially ratified on Tuesday by a party-line vote of 3 to 2. The ordinance references the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international treaty adopted in 1979. Accordingly, the three main elements included in the CEDAW ordinance were presented to the Board. First is a declaration of the goals and values to eliminate and prevent discrimination as well as to attain gender equality. Discrimination against women is not limited to transgender women and gender-nonconforming women and young people but extends to those who were born female, including transgender males and intersex communities. Discrimination against women encompasses any kind of discrimination, exclusion, or restriction based on the nature of gender or sexual orientation at birth.

On April 26, the Board held an open public hearing on agenda item 34 prior to an election on procedural issues. Four hundred thirty-seven speakers addressed the public against the ordinance, and just 40 spoke in support. The board didn't give an inch to accommodate its constituents’ opinions.

The people who supported the ordinance, such as Democrat Supervisor Nora Vargas, claimed it will help protect “women from discrimination.” But its opponents rightly highlighted that the ordinance in San Diego County alters the concept that was once used to define “women” to include biological men. The backlash was intense, including from immigration lawyer Esther Valdes-Clayton, one of the many people who addressed the public advocating against the law. “For the past two years,” she stated, “we've heard from Nathan Fletcher tell us to believe in science. So, I'm asking for Mr. Fletcher, trust your eyes, believe in your science, and trust your heart. Since when you see an attractive woman, you'll be able to tell the deepest part of the woman's appearance is like mine.” Republican supervisor Jim Desmond also expressed his disappointment.

Naturally, the supporters of the bill took a different view, with Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher decrying the “cruel nature” of the statements. In the meantime, supervisor Nora Vargas accused some speakers of disseminating “incorrect” information about the ordinance, saying that it wouldn't impact the education system or sports. “It's pretty disturbing to hear the amount of misinformation and fear-mongering,” she told reporters. But it's not easy to go through the bill and then conclude that the statements she made are true. According to one section, “women and girls” refers to the people who identify as women and girls, inclusive of gender-nonconforming transgender women and those who were born female (which comprises transgender male, non-binary and intersex communities).

It’s hard to comprehend why this shouldn't impact women's sports, as we've observed when it comes to Lia Thomas, a biologically male athlete able to compete as a female. You can ask the women who are biologically female and compete in these races how they feel about it. We're not sure exactly where this is headed; however, we do realize that it's been very head-spinning to see Democrats shouting about women's rights for the past week and slamming women's rights at the same time.

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