Legal Experts: Government Transgender Pronoun Mandates Are Unconstitutional
Government mandates that force people to use a transgender person’s preferred name and pronoun are unconstitutional restrictions on the First Amendment right to free speech, legal experts say.
As the transgender debate moves further and further to the front of the public consciousness, government agencies are increasingly implementing policies that require people to call transgender persons by their preferred name and pronouns, regardless of their biological sex.
In December, for example, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights passed a gender identity policy threatening fines up to $250,000 for intentionally using the wrong name or pronoun to refer to a transgender person, even if they prefer gender-neutral pronouns like “ze.”
On Monday, The Daily Caller reported on a similar policy implemented by Washington, D.C.’s Office of Human Rights (OHR). Stephanie Franklin, OHR’s director of policy and communications, told TheDC that “Any workplace environment in DC—private businesses included— in which supervisors or co-workers deliberately misuse a person’s preferred name or pronoun may be considered unlawful harassment and/or a hostile work environment according to DC law.”
Hans Bader, a senior attorney at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and former attorney in the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights told TheDC that Washington, D.C.’s Office of Human Rights “is violating the First Amendment by pressuring employers and workers to use imaginary words like ‘ze’ and ‘zir,’ and to violate basic grammar by referring to a transgender person as ‘themselves.’”