A new California bill introduced last month would require doctors and health care personnel, including faith-based ones, to undergo “cultural competency training” and learn how to provide transgender – “inclusive health care.”
The bill, SB-923, was introduced by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener and would require health care staff and support staff to complete “competency training” for the purpose of “providing trans-inclusive health care for individuals who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, or intersex (TGI),” according to the bill’s text.
The bill does not include exceptions for doctors and staff who are Christian or members of other religions that affirm a traditional belief in sexuality.
Such training must include information about the “oppression” of transgender, gender nonconforming and intersex communities and information about the use of “people’s correct names and pronouns,” the bill says. The bill encourages medical professionals to use “gender-neutral language.”
Additionally, such training must recognize the “difference between personal values and professional responsibilities with regard to serving TGI people,” the bill says.
“It’s simple: transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex people deserve the same quality of healthcare that everyone else receives,” Wiener said. “No one should go to a doctor’s appointment only to be misgendered, harassed, or even refused treatment.
“While many providers work hard to treat TGI people with respect, too many TGI patients aren’t treated appropriately,” Wiener added. “These traumatizing experiences keep people away from the doctor and prevent them from receiving the care they need.”
Wiener calls the bill the TGI Inclusive Health Care Act.
Critics, though, say it infringes on religious liberty.
“Senator Wiener continues to display a totalitarian impulse toward anyone who disagrees with him regarding the nature of gender and how best to help those struggling with gender dysphoria,” said Greg Burt, director of capitol engagement for the California Family Council. “Forced ideological indoctrination training is nothing new. Unable to persuade the populace of his point of view within the marketplace of ideas, Wiener now wants to force people into reeducation classes where Christians will be shamed for their faith and encouraged to sterilize patients and tell them lies about their gender.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Cunaplus M. Faba
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.