New San Diego Ordinance Changes the Definition of 'Woman'

AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday adopted a new definition of “woman” that would reportedly allow biological males identifying as females to be included as women in jails, homeless shelters, and even domestic violence shelters.


Biological men in domestic violence shelters. That sounds like a recipe for disaster.

The ordinance was passed on April 26 and officially ratified Tuesday, both by party-line, three to two votes.

The ordinance adopts the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international treaty adopted in 1979. It states:

There are three primary components to the CEDAW Ordinance presented to the Board. The first is a statement of values and goals to prevent and eliminate discrimination, and to achieve gender equality. Discrimination against women extends to transgender women, gender nonconforming women, youth, and those assigned female at birth, which includes transgender men and intersex communities; and the term ‘discrimination against women’ includes any distinction, exclusion, or restriction on the basis of gender and sex assigned at birth.

On April 26, the Board held a public hearing on agenda item 34 before a procedural vote.  Four-hundred thirty-seven public speakers spoke in opposition to the ordinance, while only 40 spoke in support.

The board clearly doesn’t give a rip what its constituents think.

From local TV news station KUSI:

Proponents of the ordinance, like Democrat Supervisor Nora Vargas, claim it will protect “women from discrimination.” But opponents correctly point out that San Diego County’s ordinance changes the historical definition of “women” to include biological men.


Backlash was strong. Here’s an impassioned, two-minute speech by Immigration attorney Esther Valdes-Clayton, one of the many public speakers who spoke in opposition to the ordinance.

“For the past two years,” she said,” we’ve heard from Nathan Fletcher tell us to trust the science. Well, I ask Mr. Fletcher, trust your eyes, trust your science, trust your heart. Because when you see a woman, you know, deep inside what a woman looks like, it looks like me.”

“I was also raised in part in Tijuana,” Valdes-Clayton continued, “and I want to ask you, how much did they pay you to sell out our culture, our values, our language?”

Republican Supervisor Jim Desmond also expressed his displeasure:

Naturally backers of the bill had a different take, with Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher decrying the “cruel nature” of some of the rhetoric:


Meanwhile Supervisor Nora Vargas accused some speakers of spreading “incorrect” information about the ordinance, claiming that it won’t affect education or sports. “It’s pretty disturbing to hear the amount of misinformation and fear-mongering,” she said.

It’s pretty hard to read that bill and conclude that what she said is true. Here’s one section:

“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.

I’m struggling to see how this wouldn’t affect women’s sports, as we’ve seen with Lia Thomas, a biologically male athlete could simply compete as a woman. Ask the biological women in those races how they feel.

We don’t know where this is going, but we do know that it’s been head-spinning to watch Democrats screeching about defending women’s rights all week on one hand, while tearing down women’s rights with the other.



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