California Legislature Passes Senator Scott Wiener’s Groundbreaking Resolution Supporting Intersex People and Families

Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 calls on the medical community to delay medically unnecessary surgeries until the individual reaches age of informed consent
August 28, 2018

Sacramento — Today the California Legislature passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 110, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D- Richmond), calling on those in the medical community to recognize the human rights of individuals born with variations in their sex characteristics, sometimes referred to as intersex traits. Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 calls on the medical community to stop performing nonconsensual and often irreparably harmful sex assignment surgeries on intersex infants at birth.  Instead, medically unnecessary surgery should be delayed until the intersex individual can decide for themselves whether to pursue surgery at all, at an age when informed consent is possible.

This resolution, widely supported by the intersex community, is the first-ever successful piece of state legislation to explicitly recognize the bodily autonomy of intersex individuals, and celebrate the bodily autonomy of intersex youth. SCR 110 passed the Senate with 25 votes in support. 

“This resolution recognizes that California’s intersex community is a part of our state’s diversity and should be embraced,” said Senator Wiener. “Physicians should not immediately seek to ‘correct’ how people are born through irreversible surgeries, unless they are medically necessary. These surgeries can have significant negative impacts on people’s lives, particularly if the gender chosen by the physician and parents is different from the child’s ultimate gender identity. I am proud that the California Legislature understands that intersex people deserve the right to identify with the gender of their choosing, and not have that decision be made for them before they are able to consent.”   

“Today California decided to stand in solidarity with the intersex community,” said Assemblymember Thurmond. “We must continue to support all of the communities in our state. I am proud that California is the first state to embrace our intersex community, and hope that many more will follow.”

“On behalf of the intersex community, interACT is thrilled that California sent a clear message of support to intersex children across the state by passing SCR 110,” said Kimberly Zieselman, Executive Director of interACT. “We look forward to bringing the message of SCR 110 to the medical community to ensure ethical, compassionate care for this vulnerable, vibrant population.”

"We’re grateful to Senator Wiener and the Assemblymembers who stood with the intersex community today for their bipartisan support of this critical human rights issue,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur. “We’re committed to working with the Legislature to encourage the medical community to end unnecessary, life-altering surgeries that harm Californians.”

SCR 110 was sponsored by interACT, an organization that advocates for the human rights of children born with intersex traits, and Equality California, and was co-authored by Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) and Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara). SCR 110 was also supported by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the Children’s Advocacy Institute, the Trevor Project, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, the ACLU, and others.

Read the full text of SCR 110 here.