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CA City Bans 'He,' 'She' In Meetings

Patch logo Patch 11/7/2021 Kristina Houck, City News Service
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SAN DIEGO, CA β€” San Diego has become the fifth city in the country, and third in California, to prohibit the use of "he" and "she" and require "inclusive language" in city laws and council policies.

The San Diego City Council Tuesday unanimously approved an "inclusive language" policy that would require gender-neutral and non-binary language in municipal code amendments, council policies, regulatory legislation and ballot proposals for city charter amendments.

"To truly be America's finest city, we must be an inclusive and welcoming city for all," San Diego Councilman Raul Campillo said. "As a proud LGBTQ+ ally, I believe it is time for this council to stand shoulder to shoulder with the organizations who have fought for inclusivity in San Diego and promote inclusivity in the legislation we pass."

Berkeley, Oakland, Boston and Portland have adopted similar "inclusive language" initiatives, according to the city staff report. In addition, as of 2019, 11 states as well as Washington, D.C. enacted policies that permitted the issuance of third gender IDs. California began offering non-binary birth certificates since the start of 2018 and introduced gender-neutral driver's licenses in 2019.

Campillo serves as vice chair of the council's Rules Committee, which passed the policy unanimously in July. San Diego Council President and Chair of the Rules Committee Jennifer Campbell was the other driving force behind the policy, which requires the city to draft its council policies, regulatory legislation, proposals to amend the city charter by ballot and amendments to the current municipal code in a "gender-neutral, non-binary manner when referring to a person or group of people to promote inclusive language in San Diego."

"As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I am thrilled to see this item approved at council," Campbell said. "It is an important step to make our governance a more welcoming place for all of San Diego's people, especially those who do not see themselves reflected within a gender binary.

"We heard loud and clear from our community and from our LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group about how damaging it feels to be forced to make a choice that does not reflect your identity," she added. "Today is a great day for inclusivity in San Diego."


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