Newsom signs law allowing transgender inmates to be placed in prisons according to gender identity

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill allowing California transgender inmates to be placed in prisons that align with their gender identity.

“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 Saturday.

California corrections officers will now be required to privately ask inmates if they identify as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex. The inmates can then request to be placed in prisons that correspond with their gender identity if there are no “management or security concerns” with a particular inmate.

Newsom signed other laws on Saturday requiring local public health officials to more thoroughly track diseases affecting the gay and lesbian community, as well as a bill banning insurance companies from denying coverage based on HIV status.

“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.”

Earlier this month, Newsom signed into law a bill that expanded the discretion granted to judges in cases concerning statutory rape.

“SB 145 ends discrimination against #LGBTQ young people on the sex offender registry. Currently, these youth are forced onto the registry for consensual sex — even if a judge doesn’t think it’s appropriate — in situations where straight youth are not,” San Francisco Democratic state Rep. Scott Wiener said of the bill. “This discrimination destroys lives.”

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