The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has adopted a new definition of “woman” that would reportedly allow male-to-female transgender residents to demand inclusion as women in jails, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters.
The ordinance, passed by a 3-2 vote on April 26, and ratified on May 10 by the same margin, adopts the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international treaty adopted in 1979.
The treaty was signed by then-President Jimmy Carter in 1980, but it was never brought to the Senate for ratification.
But the ordinance goes further, expanding the definition of “woman” to include those who simply identify as women:
F. “Women and girls” shall mean those who identify as women and girls, including transgender women and gender non-conforming, and those assigned female at birth who include non-binary, transgender men and intersex communities.
G. “Gender” shall mean the characteristics of women, men, girls, and boys that are socially constructed. As a social construct, gender can vary among cultures and can change over time.
H. “Gender equity” shall mean the redress of discriminatory practices and ensuring equitable conditions that enable women and girls to achieve full, substantive equality with men, recognizing that needs of women and men may differ, resulting in fair and equitable outcomes for all. This includes the redress of discriminatory practices and ensuring equitable conditions for persons identifying as transgender, nonbinary, and/or gender non-conforming to achieve full equality and equity.
I. “Intersectional” shall mean the interconnected nature of social categorizations and individual characteristics that overlap as interdependent and compounded systems of discrimination. These categorizations and characteristics include, but are not limited to, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, education, language, and disability.
“Now in San Diego County, the definition of ‘women’ will include transwomen and intersex women. Meaning, people considered ‘women’ under the new definition will be allowed in all county facilities including prisons, homeless shelters, and domestic violence shelters.”
Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson declined to provide a definition of “woman” in her confirmation hearings in March.