The State Bar of California wants to know if I am a two spirit, cisgender pansexual

A current voluntary census of California attorneys, by the State Bar of California, the state's licensing, regulation, and disciplinary agency for lawyers, raises the issue of whether the information obtained will be used to grant preferential treatment to people who identify themselves as something other than their biological sex, and whether people who continue to treat such people according to their biological sex will be punished for doing so.

In 2018, there was a change made to California Business and Professions Code section 6001.1, which sets forth the priorities of the State Bar of California.  As described by the Legislative Counsel, which is the state agency that provides legal services to the California Legislature, when explaining the bill that would later become the law, the previous version of the law required "protection of the public to be the highest priority for the State Bar and the board of trustees in exercising their licensing, regulatory, and disciplinary functions."  The new version "would provide that protection of the public includes support for greater access to, and inclusion in, the legal system."

As an attorney licensed in California, when I attempt to log in to my online account with the State Bar of California, I see a message that states, in part:

The 2020 Attorney Census was launched on January 9, 2020.  If you interacted with your Attorney Census data BEFORE this date please fill out this new and improved Attorney Census!  The data you provide will allow the State Bar to understand changes in the attorney population, career trajectories, and experience working in the legal profession.  You may skip any survey questions you decline to answer.

The next message states, in part:

The State Bar needs your help!  Please participate in the survey before accessing your profile.

The State Bar's highest priority is protection of the public.  This includes "support for greater access to, and inclusion in, the legal system."  (Bus. & Prof. Code §6001.1.)

To ensure the legal profession continues to thrive and remains accessible to all Californians, the State Bar seeks comprehensive information about attorneys licensed in California.

The State Bar's Attorney Census collects demographic and employment information from California attorneys on an annual basis.  This rich dataset helps the State Bar and others in the profession combat bias and improve recruitment, career advancement, and job satisfaction.

Using data from the Attorney Census, the State Bar published the "First Annual Report Card on the Diversity of California's Legal Profession," a report that provides baseline data on the diversity and workplace satisfaction of California's attorney population across multiple demographic groups and employment sectors.  The report brings into stark reality that despite significant growth in the proportion of attorneys who are women and people of color over the past 30 years, California's attorney population remains far from reflective of the state's diversity.

Near the end of the Attorney Census, after asking for the racial and ethnic group(s) with which I identify, I am asked:

Which of the following best fits with the gender you identify as?

Select all that apply



Gender Variant/Non-conforming/Non-binary

Two Spirit

Not listed (please specify): ___________

The next question asks:

Which of the following best applies to you?

Select all that apply




Not listed (please specify): ____________

Following that, I am asked:

How do you describe your sexual orientation or sexual identity?

Select all that apply







Not listed (please specify): ____________

I am surprised I was not asked about my pronoun preference.

Given the State Bar's statement that "California's attorney population remains far from reflective of the state's diversity," and the efforts of Democrat-dominated governments and organizations to use racial and sexual preferences in hiring, contracting, and school admissions, I wonder whether the data collected by the State Bar will be used to apply preferences in the legal profession, and elsewhere, for people in the various categories listed above in the State Bar's census.

Whatever the reasons for people feeling that they are uncomfortable with their biological sex, their biological sex remains a fact.  The freedom such people have to believe what they want about themselves is not a license to deprive others of the freedom to recognize the biological facts and act in accordance with the biological facts. 

I wonder whether the State Bar's census presages a willingness of the State Bar to punish attorneys who exercise their freedom to act in accordance with biological facts.

Here are some screen shots from the state website that's available for viewing only by lawyers, so you can see for yourself:

Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles.  His website is  James Fernald and Mr. Favish have co-authored a book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland, entitled Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).

Image credit: State Bar of California, official seal.

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