Bill to Encourage Gender Neutral Pronouns in Statute and Other Policies Passes Assembly Judiciary Committee

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

SACRAMENTO—Legislation to establish gender neutral pronouns in statute and state policies and regulations passed the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary by a bipartisan vote of 7-0. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 260 is authored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, and co-authored by all members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. ACR 260 is supported by the ACLU.

“California is home to the largest LGBTQ population in the country, many of whom identify as non-binary,” said Assemblymember Low. “By using gender-neutral pronouns in legislation and policies moving forward, the State of California celebrates its non-binary community.”

ACR 260 sets the intention for the state to be more inclusive for transgender and gender neutral, and non-binary individuals by adopting the use of gender-neutral pronouns in new legislation and other public documents, as well as to begin the process of revising existing statutes to use gender-neutral language.

Much of California’s legal language includes traditional gendered pronouns such as “he” and “she.”  However, many citizens do not identify with binary gender definitions, finding themselves fixed or fluctuating along a gender spectrum, or simply removed from the concept of gender. By using language that is not inclusive to all citizens, the state of California continues to disenfranchise minorities that have long faced blatant discrimination.  This is not reflective of the state’s other inclusive policies or the values of the general electorate.

ACR 260 calls for the Legislature to use gender-neutral pronouns in future legislation and to prioritize the revising existing statutes to include gender-neutral pronouns or to reuse nouns throughout to avoid gendered language. ACR 260 also calls on California departments and agencies to engage in similar efforts when drafting policies, regulations, and other guidance.

Adopting gender-neutral language makes California more inclusive.

ACR 260 will now go to the Assembly floor.