Berkeley City Council to include gender-neutral language in its municipal code

Berkeley City Council .jpg

Berkeley City Council has proposed language changes to make its municipal code more gender-inclusive. The code will be changed throughout to modify any masculine or feminine language and use gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they’ and ‘them’. Terms that would change include ‘manhole’ to ‘maintenance hole’, ‘man-made’ to ‘human-made’ or ‘machine-made’, ‘master’ to ‘captain’, ‘manpower’ to ‘human effort’, and ‘sportsman’ to ‘hunters’. The gender-neutral language in Berkeley’s municipal code will go into effect by late August 2019.

Berkeley City Council member Rigel Robinson, who proposed the changes, said a growing social awareness of transgender and gender-fluid individuals had "brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity" to City Hall and the language of city legislation. Robinson said: "Our laws are for everyone, and our municipal code should reflect that. Women and non-binary individuals are just as entitled to accurate representation. Having a male-centric municipal code is inaccurate and not reflective of our reality."