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by American News Editor 0

California health care workers who “willfully and repeatedly” decline to use a senior transgender patient’s “preferred name or pronouns” could face punishments ranging from a fine to jail time under a newly signed law.

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation last week.

The sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, has argued adamantly that nobody is going to be criminally prosecuted for using the wrong pronoun.

But the language seemingly allows for the possibility, however remote.

“It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status,” the bill reads.

Among the unlawful actions are “willfully and repeatedly” failing to use a transgender person’s “preferred name or pronouns” after he or she is “clearly informed of the preferred name or pronouns.”

The law states that if provisions are violated, the violator could be punished by a fine “not to exceed one thousand dollars” or “by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year,” or both.