California State Bar Gender / Sexual Orientation Options

I'm just registering for my online bar account, and here's what I'm given for a survey they're running about, among other things, professional satisfaction.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

What is your gender?

Choose all that apply

[ ] Female

[ ] Male

[ ] Transgender

[ ] Gender Variant/Non-conforming/Non-binary

[ ] Two-Spirit

[ ] Not listed (please specify): _____

What is your sexual orientation?

Choose all that apply

[ ] Lesbian or Gay

[ ] Bisexual

[ ] Heterosexual

[ ] Pansexual

[ ] Asexual

[ ] Not listed (please specify): _____

The "I identify as a person with a disability" question unfortunately only offers "Yes" and "No," rather than the regrettably more accurate "Not Yet."

UPDATE: I was initially unsure whether this was just going to be used for a survey or whether it would be kept more broadly in the files associated with my bar record, and I noted that in the subheading of the post. But I did a bit more research, and it appears that under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 6009.5, "Any demographic data collected shall be used only for general purposes and shall not be identified to any individual licensee or his or her State Bar record"; I assume that this means it can't be so identified even within the State Bar records, and not just to the public.

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91 responses to “California State Bar Gender / Sexual Orientation Options

  1. Is the problem that you can’t find choices that fit? Or are we supposed to recognize this as, for some reason, self-evidently absurd?

    1. Is your question driven by honest inquiry or as part of a social ostracism attempt to enforce orthodoxy?

      1. It’s driven by confusion. My guess is that there is supposed to be either a point or a joke, but I see neither.

        1. I can help. It’s absurd.

          1. Absolutely absurd, but not surprising.

    2. First one, then the other. When you start to get this granular you will inevitably come across people don’t fit any option and feel insulted that “two-spirit” gets its own box but whatever you are doesn’t. This will then lead to calls for even more granularity, until it can be seen as nothing other than absurd. But that’s nothing new for CA, go look for an image of their 2003 governor recall ballot, it had 135 names to choose from

    3. If this doesn’t qualify as self-evidently absurd, nothing does or ever will.

    4. Let me help you: it’s self-evidently absurd, both substantively and procedurally. I mean, it’s silly enough when Facebook gives those sorts of options ? but, in the end, Facebook is primarily about personal expression, so if some people want to designate themselves as kangaroos instead of people, whatever. But what possible function could it serve in this context? Bar registration is not a matter of self-expression. What could the bar possibly do with this information?

  2. As long as it doesn’t involve clients or minors or frightening the horses…

    1. You’re right! There should be a box for that!

  3. The order is a little strange. It’s not alphabetical, which is correct, but the correct way to order the categories is in descending order of privilege. They do this correctly for the first few items in each category, but decline to put male and heterosexual as the last item in each category. Shame on the California Bar!

    1. I’m old enough to remember when LGBT was GLBT. Thank god we’ve moved beyond that.

      1. GLBT was widely used at the local level while LGBT was used as the national level – mainly because national gay rights organizations were led by lesbians.

        I once suggested it should be in alphabetical order and I was called a self hating gay because of it.

  4. I assume this is a joke, right, or else one of the dumbest things I have read today

    1. Did you miss the part about California bar?

      Two aspiring lawyers walk into a bar – – – – – –

  5. I expect it’s just for the survey rather than for the permanent file, because it offered me the option to skip the whole thing when I logged in.

    1. Refusing to answer could tag you, rightly or not, as maybe not agreeing with all it, and therefore a *phobe, which could make it into that app which will float a hater virtual balloon over your head in that app beijg developed to do facial recognition and map you to the Black Mirror-like database.

      1. Not necessary, they can spot those guys from their KKK genotype.

      2. Refusing to answer could tag you, rightly or not, as maybe not agreeing with all it

        As anybody who has read The Gulag Archipelago knows. But that kind of thing could never happen here. Imagine people in this day and age trying to ruin a person’s life for failure to enthusiastically adopt a mandatory social belief system. It’s absurd.

  6. What is your sexual orientation?

    [ X ] Not listed (please specify): None of your damn business.

  7. “What is your sexual orientation?” … Typically, horizontal.

    1. Then you’re doing it wrong (or, at least, in a boringly traditional fashion). 🙂

  8. Does the form offer a definition of “gender” or do you get to pick that too ?

    If one is offered, let us know what it is.

  9. I join others in questioning the point of the post. Not sure how this harms you in any way. There’s no indication of any “special benefit” being associated with any gender identity or sexual orientation. The Bar would like to know how its members identify.
    I think its fairly obvious that a post like this will bring out a lot of homophobic and transphobic sentiment. I had long respected this blog as a decidedly right of center one that did not seek to encourage such sentiment with bait like this. Beyond the addition of anti-civil rights activist Gail Heriot, this post is not encouraging.

    But I guess, “haha gender nonconforming”?

    1. Not at all sure why the Bar organization needs any answer to any of these questions.

      That said, what exactly is the problem with providing people with lots and lots of options to choose from? People can pick the one(s) they like, as they see fit, if the options are offered. They can’t choose freely if the option they want/need/prefer isn’t offered.

      1. There are obstacles to being a sexual minority or gender nonconforming in the legal profession. It is helpful for a professional association to know the makeup of its members in serving them.

        1. “There are obstacles to being a sexual minority or gender nonconforming in the legal profession”

          These cannot be handled without a list of who has an interest in which?

          1. Generally speaking, when most groups gather this kind of data they anonymize it so that they don’t have a “list”, they just have demographic data.

            That said, no. If you think there are obstacles leading to group X being full integrated in group Y, the best way to check and see if you need a more through investigation is to poll group Y on who belongs to group X.

            1. “Generally speaking, when most groups gather this kind of data they anonymize it so that they don’t have a “list”, they just have demographic data.”

              At least, that’s what they SAY they’re going to do.

              “That said, no. If you think there are obstacles leading to group X being full integrated in group Y, the best way to check and see if you need a more through investigation is to poll group Y on who belongs to group X.”

              And if the obstacles are real, why would a group Xer want to be identified as such? Always there is the solution that the way to avoid problems integrating X into Y is to get rid of all the X’s. Poof! Problem solved. No X complaining about friction in group Y.

      2. “what exactly is the problem with providing people with lots and lots of options to choose from? ”

        The problem lies in expecting lawyers to deal in facts.
        sex; xx or xy
        sexual orientation; irrelevant
        gender; irrelevant

        so the liberals should be up in arms about the carbon footprint of sending all those unnecessary ones and zeros up and down the web.

        1. “The problem lies in expecting lawyers to deal in facts.
          sex; xx or xy”

          Presumably, the fact that there are others would be dealt with. Or is it you who is refusing to deal with facts?

          1. what exactly are the ‘others’? Yes there are rare biological interssexuals, but please show me where in they scientifically derive ‘two spirit’ from this?

            1. “what exactly are the ‘others’? Yes there are rare biological interssexuals”

            2. “…but please show me where in they scientifically derive ‘two spirit’ from this?”

              Two-spirit is Native American cultural thing, I don’t think any actual biology is involved. I guess that’s what you meant by “scientifically derive?” Gender in general seems to be more complex than what can be determined biologically. At least so far.

              1. I don’t think any actual biology is involved.
                >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                see you agree with me.

              2. “Two-spirit is Native American cultural thing, I don’t think any actual biology is involved.”

                It’s a survey, not a science exam.

          2. Yes, but there are hardly any others. The true percentage of genuine intersex folk is something like 0.02% (not the 2% that is frequently quoted by activists.) So in the California Bar, assuming that intersex folk qualify as lawyers at equivalent rates to the population as a whole, that works out at about 50 intersex lawyers in total. No doubt there are many more who are gay, or who have misgivings about their “gender identity.” But there will also be plenty more who are impotent, infertile, have painful periods,find it difficult to form close relationships, have hearing difficulties, or bad knees. One could poll till doomsday and not get a full survey of the various disabilities, problems, prejudices under which California lawyers suffer.

            Why bother asking a question about “gender” when there are a thousand other things they could ask about to help them form a fuller picture of the number of the members with this or that concern, issue or disadvantage ? Because “gender” is the political topic du jour. Especally in California. In twenty years aspiring California lawyers will be unaware that there ever was a gender bubble.

            1. “Yes, but there are hardly any others.”

              The majority of human beings are females. So why not set it up as:

              Sex: F Other

              1. I don’t believe you’re right actually. If you look at total numbers there seem to be more male humans :

                https://countrymeters.info/en/World

                And sex at birth ratios always favor males. Though since there’s is greater female mortality pre-birth it maybe that at conception they’re more even. But in any event it’s around 50-50. Including intersex you might say 49.99%/ 49.99%/ 0.02%.

                With coin tossing one tends to quote 50-50, even though “edge” or “down the back of the sofa” isn’t actually a zero possibility.

    2. how could a deteriorating culture harm anyone? What, you don’t want your children influenced by the leftist celebration of degenerate behavior? you aren’t happy about the increasing likelihood your progeny asking to be castrated and umped full of hormones at age 11? what are you a fucking bigot?

  10. What, no “attack helicopter”?

  11. Gee, I can’t imagine why more LGBT people don’t find Reason a welcoming website.

    1. You got it backwards, it’s not Reason’s commentariat’s need be welcoming, but rather LGBT people’s job to convince us that we should ascribe to their beliefs.

      1. You are free to check “Straight,” bro.

        The only “belief” I have is treating people with dignity and respect. Straight people, my parents, taught me that.

        1. “The only ‘belief’ I have is treating people with dignity and respect.”

          Leftist snowflake.

        2. Again, you got it backwards. It’s just as much a sign of disrespect for the LGBT community to try to force everyone to their newly minted standards, rather than to convince the rest of us that their newly created standards are worthwhile through reasoned debate. We can disagree, and that disagreement itself is not me disrespecting you as a person or removing your human dignity, it’s just disagreeing with your opinions as expressed. If like Coke and I like Pepsi, what does it matter?

          Though for that matter, ridicule, mocking, and condescension are perfectly legal and justifiable behaviors in the right circumstances, and I bet that JPS has engaged in all three of those at some point or another. Frankly, some ideas do need to be mocked at this point, like communism.

          1. It’s just as much a sign of disrespect for the LGBT community to try to force everyone to their newly minted standards

            This is a misunderstanding. There is no such thing as the LGBT community – that is a fiction got up by activists who claim to speak on behalf of “the LGBT community”, as if folk with unconventional sexual orientations and feelings about their sex all thought the same thing. In reality there are lots of different folk doing and thinking lots of different things, with different interests and preferences and the talking heads turning up on the TV and claiming to speak for them all are just speaking for themselves, and for their own little bands of fanatics.

            See also the Jewish community, the Moslem community, the black community, the scientific community, the disabled community and so on ad nauseam.

            1. Weird semantic pet peeve.
              Communities that contain varying points of view are still communities.

              1. Communities that contain varying points of view are still communities.

                Obviously – because you have assumed your conclusion.

                The question is whether there’s a sense in which “gay men” constitute a “community.” (Before we move on to consider adding in gay women, and sundry other folk denoted by other initials or acronyms, to form the full alphabet soup, to then consider whether that motley amalgam constitutes a community.)

                And they don’t, any more than “Minnesotan left handers” or “lung cancer sufferers” are communities. What they share is one characteristc. Even Minnesotan left handers can boast two.

                The full LGBT “community” is more in the nature of a remainder than a community. It’s all the bits that are left over once you have subtracted the overwhelming straightforward binary majority. To expect these remainders to constitute a community is akin to claiming that people who don’t drive are a community.

      2. Actually, the first article I ever read on Reason was a Shackford article. Can’t remember the exact title, but it was something about wondering why, despite being natural allies, gay folk and libertarians weren’t closer.

        The comment section was about what you’d expect: casual homophobia, lots of use of “faggot”, plenty of insults towards anyone that objected to the first two items, and so-on. As such, I believe my first comment was something along the lines of “Shackford, have you read your comment section? Your answer is right there!”

        And periodically, Reason will put up articles (from Shackford and others) trying to rope gay folk into the libertarian tent. They get linked to and promoted on varoius right-leaning LGBT sites, in a “look, you can be not-democrat and gay! These people will welcome you!” way.

        So despite what you, personally, may think, there are certainly libertarians, and Reason editors, who think y’all have something to offer gay people, and want more gay people in the movement. And then you have someone like Volokh and yourself undermining those efforts.

        So no. LGBT people don’t need to convince you of anything. But y’all do need to convince each other of what you’re actually trying to accomplish.

        1. Shorter version: Many gay folks nowadays are less concerned with the government punishing them for being gay, and more concerned with punishing people for saying faggot, or for not baking them cakes, or whatever.

          1. More like:
            Shorter version: Libertarians can’t decide amongst themselves whether or not they want LGBT folk in the tent, and while they’re trying to sort this are actively pushing LGBT folk away.

            1. How many “LGBT folk” believe in the government leaving people alone except in truly urgent cases requiring intervention (eg, assault, fraud, genuine market failure)?

              And how many “LGBT folk” believe in “tolerance for me, compulsory gay cakes for thee?”

              1. No two libertarians agree on much of anything, including specifically, what it means to be “libertarian”.

        2. You do realize that there’s no ideological test for becoming a Reason commenter, right? All one needs is access to a computer. Even actually libertarian commenters don’t speak for the, er, libertarian community, and there’s no reason to think that many of the commenters here even identify as libertarian in the first place.

    2. The same reason people of any major religion don’t find LGBTQ sites welcoming.

      1. To be clear, are you defining “major religion” down to only conservative religions? ’cause most American Christians are chill with us these days. Our outreach has been giving results.

        1. I only know the three largest; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
          All three of these condemn homosexual acts as mortal sins.

          To be clear, it is the act that is the sin.
          Similar restriction apply to heterosexual activities, but that is usually overlooked. In general, when members of the LGBTQ community attack religious people, they attack the person, and the belief.

          1. You are utterly ignorant of Christianity if you believe that Christian churches have a unified view of what is and isn’t a sin or mortal sin.

            I’d like to remind you that many Christian denominations even consider membership in certain other Christian denominations to be sinful.

          2. Not all followers of organized religion are bigots.

            Cloaking bigotry in religion does nothing to improve it.

            1. Cloaking bigotry in science and liberalism also does nothing to improve it. And you’re an expert at that.

              Of course, not all scientists and liberals are bigots.

      2. Plenty of Christian churches have no problem with homosexuality.

    3. How about you worry your pretty little head about the legitimacy and “welcoming” nature of sticking “LGBT” together? What exactly do I as a “G” have in common with “LBT”? Is it because people like you think it’s all about icky sex?

      How about you worry your pretty little head about the welcoming nature of a party and candidates who, for decades, opposed gay marriage by now pretend they were for it all along?

      How about you worry your pretty little head about national gay and lesbian organizations that receive massive amounts of public and “charitable” funding, but in the end are little more than sinecures and meat markets for gay social science majors?

      Reason has many faults, like for example, that it isn’t very libertarian. But a hostility to “LGBT” causes really isn’t among them.

      1. Snarky response: You think my head is pretty? That’s so condescending and patronizing nice!

        Serious response:

        In order…

        I do.
        Interaction with laws, history of oppression, and how we’re treated and considered by society at large.
        That is not a position I hold.
        I do.
        I do.

        And no. Reason is plenty hostile to LGBT people. Not causes, people.

    4. Newsflash from Escher News Services:You’re not gay unless you’re in favor of absurd linguistic virtue signaling.

      1. Not something I said.

  12. Wonder at what point during the decadent twilight of the Roman Empire a similar survey occurred?

    1. They really didn’t care. The legal profession was more concerned with the political power and family standing of the parties.

      Oh, wait – – – – – –

    2. This reaches beyond the romans. Greeks, Persians, China several times, the theme of soft decadent and oversocialized (caught in the trappings of groupthink and civil norms over common sense) falling to rougher unlettered but in certain ways more cunning and wise folk repeats throughout history. I’ll leave it to the reader who the rough unlettered folk are this time.

      1. Doubt they are “unlettered”, but probably those who Kirkland despises.

      2. Learn some of the history of China. The barbarians invade at the end of every dynastic cycle, and then they are absorbed and “civilized” through the next dynastic cycle.

        1. China: 2000 years of oppressive statism, occasionally interrupted by war and chaos.

          1. The Chinese have about 5000 years of history.

        2. The barbarians invade at the end of every dynastic cycle

          🙂 I’ve noticed that touchdowns are almost invariaby scored on the final play of the drive.

  13. There are only two genders among people of our species.

    That is all.

    1. Actually gender is bogus made up terminology from linguistics pushed to replace the more biological precise term of sex for purely political reasons.

      1. Alas, some folks’ biology doesn’t fit into “precise” divisions.

        1. Yet that group, genetically and biologically intersex by nature of a chromosomal accident are a minuscule fraction of this group that is alternatively oriented by nature of non genetic or non phenotypic changes.
          Those I work with with genetic or metabolic I tersex states for the most part want to be one of the two sexes.
          This isn’t just like many others with genetic maladies, who would just like to not have their ‘difference’ and don’t really want to ‘celebrate’ their fate. The cystic fibrosis community is not resisting conversion therapy to derive a genetic therapy that might one day allow them to not suffocate in their own mucous. Sickle cell disease patients might be on the cusp of a genetic cure also, and there are none bemoaning the ‘holocaust’ that will befall their community when the last sickled red blood cell is gone. And when triosomy 21(Down syndrome) can get adjusted to disomy 21 with a shot, who’s not going to opt for that.
          No, it is only folks with mental illness who deny disease, and refuse change. Unfortunately it will take a generation for the health care system to recognize the folly of validating the mental illness that is all of the gender nuttiness.

        2. In humans, you’re male if and only if you have an intact Y chromosome. That’s unambiguous.

          The only ambiguity exists for male/female chimeras, an extremely rare condition, and itself also unambiguous. The legal and practical solution is to offer such individuals to make a choice.

          1. Actually, we now know that gender, even in the more traditional binary sense, is not only determined by the presence of a Y chromosome. There are other activating environmental factors that determine things for the embryo. That’s why, for instance, the International Olympic Committee is unable to come up with a test that will unambiguously determine gender. Read a little about the Indian sprinter Dutee Chand.

            1. “Gender” is bullshit and is only feelings.

              Sex is what matters.

              1. “Gender” is bullshit and is only feelings.

                You sure seem to have strong feelings on the matter!

          2. “In humans, you’re male if and only if you have an intact Y chromosome. That’s unambiguous.”

            Unless, of course, you’re one of those people with an intact Y chromosome who developed female, or developed intersex. Darn ambiguity.

    2. There are only two sexes.

      Whether or not there are only two genders is not anywhere near as certain.

  14. What if I identify as disabled but the law doesn’t recognize the disability yet?

    California really needs to improve on this!

    1. “What if I identify as disabled but the law doesn’t recognize the disability yet?”

      In California? There’s probably already a legal team at work trying to get the disability benefits you deserve.

  15. “Any demographic data collected shall be used only for general purposes and shall not be identified to any individual licensee or his or her State Bar record”; I assume that this means it can’t be so identified even within the State Bar records, and not just to the public.

    Is there any penalty for the CA State Bar should this information be linked to you and/or get out? No? Then that would be a really bad assumption to make.

    In any case – you should check all of the boxes as a matter of course.

  16. I would put down sexuality “Alpha Stud” and disability “18 inch p****s” just for the fun of it. It would be fun to be told I don’t have said disability just to whip it out on the table to prove them wrong. But then again maybe it wouldn’t be so much fun because I would probably get accused of sexual harassment for proving my disability.

  17. progressives prove the slippery slope fallacy isn’t a fallacy at all but is real and that they are in fact engaged in salami slicing tactics designed to destroy western civilization.

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