Even if you’ve got the courage to speak up and say the emperor has no clothes, the state of California won’t let you.
California’s Civil Rights Department is forcing burger chain Shake Shack to pay $20,000 to a former employee who alleges he faced “misgendering” in the workplace—aka fellow employees refusing to indulge an adult’s gender-swapping fantasy.
The former burger flipper (or perhaps cashier or shake maestro) says he “was repeatedly misgendered by co-workers and that when he complained, management failed to take reasonable steps to correct the behavior,” according to a press release from the state Civil Rights Department.
Instead, the employee alleges, “management told him repeatedly that he would have to explain his gender to co-workers rather than rely on management to correct discriminatory behavior.”
As a result, the employee left a Shake Shack restaurant in Oakland after a month of employment and the California Civil Rights Department took up his crusade, resulting in a prelitigation settlement with Shake Shack that includes a $20,000 payout to the employee and the burger chain’s committing to new policies and training.
“California law prohibits intentional misgendering in the workplace,” said Kevin Kish, director of the Civil Rights Department, in a statement announcing the settlement. “Intentional misgendering and other forms of discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression can be stressful and traumatic.”
What about being forced to lie by the government? Can that be stressful and traumatic?
Think about a similar situation that is about anything besides gender. What if the employee was 20 but “identified” as 70?
If you’re rolling your eyes, consider this: In 2018, a 69-year-old Dutch man and “positivity trainer,” Emile Ratelband, went to court because he wanted to identify as a 49-year-old, saying it would help him on a dating app and with employment.
His request was denied, with the unfeeling judges writing that Ratelband was merely “at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” the BBC reported (emphasis mine).
But the quest continues. On his Twitter profile, Ratelband identifies as “age-fluid.”
Or what about the infamous case of Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who had presented herself as African American and even headed up the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash.? In 2017, a couple of years after the national controversy about her, Dolezal told NBC News’ NBCBLK that she identified as “trans-black.”
Her language in another interview echoed the claims of trans activists who say that people can be born in the “wrong body.”
“I feel that I was born with the essential essence of who I am, whether it matches my anatomy and complexion or not,” Dolezal told The Guardian in 2017. “I’ve never questioned being a girl or woman, for example, but whiteness has always felt foreign to me, for as long as I can remember. I didn’t choose to feel this way or be this way, I just am.”
Or consider Tiamat Eva Medusa, who was born male and now identifies as a dragon lady. “After transitioning to a woman and then to a reptile, Tiamat found her true self in another species,” says Diana Tourjee, narrator of the 2018 Vice documentary “I’m a Real-Life Transgender Dragon.”
Tiamat added eight horns to his head, got heavily tattooed, and had most of his teeth yanked out and his ears removed (“I’m a serpent dragon and serpents don’t have ears,” Medusa says in the documentary).
If Tiamat worked in California, would his coworkers need to call him a dragon?
Even parents aren’t necessarily going to be free from California’s draconian speech policing: Proposed legislation would make courts “strongly consider that affirming the minor’s gender identity is in the best interest of the child if a nonconsenting parent objects to a name and gender marker change to affirm the minor’s gender identity.”
In other words, even if you don’t think your son is your daughter and it will hurt your child to have that fake identity affirmed, a court could take the decision out of your hands.
Gender isn’t the only arena where California’s government goons are aiming to squelch speech. Last fall, Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed legislation that banned doctors from spreading “misinformation” on COVID-19. If doctors were found to have spread such “misinformation,” they would be guilty of “unprofessional conduct” and referred to the appropriate state medical board for further action.
Misinformation, conveniently enough, is defined by the state as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus.” Truth is irrelevant. All that matters is that you exclusively spout the popular claims of the day propagated by Anthony Fauci and his ilk.
Thankfully, a federal District Court judge blocked enforcement of the new law last month, and Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, a psychiatrist, told Fox News that he and a few other medical doctors are willing to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if need be.
But nevertheless, California’s willingness to put the weight of the government behind political correctness should concern everyone. Telling the truth should not be illegal anywhere, even in California.
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