Published: Tue, October 17, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Bill signed by Gov. Brown marks milestone for nonbinary people

Bill signed by Gov. Brown marks milestone for nonbinary people

Starting in 2019, nonbinary citizens across California can identify as nonbinary on their driver's licenses, birth certificates, and other documents. Jerry Brown signed a bill to create a third, "nonbinary" gender designation for driver's licenses, but vetoed measures that would have required presidential candidates to release their tax returns and which would have allowed telecom companies to more easily install broadband equipment - microwave radiation antennas - on city-owned utility poles, a bill that cities and counties fought fiercely. Not only does the bill make choosing the third gender an option, but it also makes changing your legal documents gender easier.

Assembly Bill 233, proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria of San Diego, would have let students wear religious, ceremonial or cultural clothes to graduation. Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat who wrote both bills.

Advocacy group Equal Rights Advocates also expressed disappointment, but pledged to work with Brown's office to strengthen state laws to protect students involved in sexual assault cases.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D.), who cosponsored the bill, has said the bill is about "giving the American people the honesty and transparency they deserve". Brown said nonreligious employers have always been barred from taking such actions, and the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing should handle any disputes.

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The veto comes just three weeks after the Trump administration revoked major federal mandates on campus rape policies, replaced them with interim guidance, and said more permanent regulations are on the way. Some of the guidelines have been rolled back by President Donald Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos. Brown in a statement for looking out for transgender, nonbinary and intersex Californians. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? We may need fewer.

In a veto message, Brown said the tax return requirement goes too far.

Advocates for accused students had asked Brown to veto the bill, raising concern that minority and low-income students could be more likely to face discipline than white and more-privileged students - which is one issue Brown cited when vetoing the bill. "It is time to pause and survey the land".

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