California State senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has replaced traditional male and female gender pronouns during judicial committee hearings with 'they'.
The first order of business at last Thursday's hearing was to announce the change, during which the Democrat senator said the 'gender neutral' designation 'they' would be replacing the traditional pronouns of 'he' or 'she', the Daily Wire reports.
'I'd like to note — in respecting the fact that we are now a state recognizing the non-binary designation as a gender — he and she, we are now merging them so we are using what my grammar teacher would have had a heart attack over: we are using the phrase 'they' and replacing other designations so it's a gender neutral designation: "they",' she said.
'In the spirit of gender neutrality for the rules of this committee, we now designate the chair as "they",' she continued before adding that the 'world is in a different place' now from the days of her grammar teacher.
Despite having just set out the new useage of gender neutral pronouns, Jackson slipped up several times during the hearing, referring to her former grammar teacher in the female.
Joking that her grammar teacher was 'long gone and we won't be hearing from her', she quickly corrected herself after someone in the chamber pointed out the mistake.
'From them! From they!' she said.
In a statement, Jackson's office denied that the traditional male and female pronouns were banned: 'I announced some modifications to the language of our committee's internal rules which act as bylaws to the committee.
'Some people have taken these very minor changes out of context and misinterpreted them as a banning of the use of he/she language in our regular legislative business or in California's laws.
'It does not ban the use of gendered pronouns in any way. It simply makes our bylaws clearer and more consistent going forward.'
At the start of the year, California introduced a third 'X' gender category on state identification cards and driver's licenses. The 'X' marker can be used by California state residents who do not identify as male or female.
Oregon, New York and Washington state also offer the 'X' marker on official IDs.