The Californian city of Palm Springs is planning to provide universal basic income (UBI) to residents who identify as transgender or non-binary.
A new pilot program set up by the Palm Springs City Council last week has raised $200,000 to be allocated to the UBI program following a unanimous vote, to provide transgender residents with up to $900 a month solely for identifying as trans or non-binary.
While most people are aware of what a transgendered person typically entails, the term “non-binary” has risen in popularity in recent years thanks to the ubiquity of the trend on social media platforms like TikTok and Twitter. It refers to people who are either male or female, who identify as a “non-binary” gender, meaning they exist somewhere in between male and female, or outside of it entirely.
Under the UBI program, anyone who identifies as trans or non-binary will not be required to prove their gender status, however, applicants will have to meet a certain poverty threshold — so those on an actual living wage will likely be rejected should they apply for the tax-payer funded stipend.
The move to introduce the benefit for the city’s trans and non-binary individuals has been opposed by former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, a Republican who served as the first openly gay member of the city council.
Describing the program as “outrageous and discriminatory,” DeMaio said in a statement that “We’re completely opposed to guaranteed or universal basic income programs, because they ultimately cause inflation and raise the cost of living on everyone — they don't work.”
“But at least some of them have minimum income requirements to qualify, whereas this one is no-strings-attached ‘woke’ virtue signalling to the LGBT community in a way that is not only offensive but discriminatory,” he continued, Fox News reported.
Under the pilot program, around 20 transgender and non-binary city residents will receive the stipend, funded by taxpayers for a period of 18 months. The advocacy-based health centre, DAP Health, and the LGBT activist group Queer Works will be in charge of overseeing the program.
According to Fox News, the program will undergo a six-month design period ahead of its implementation, in which the group Mayors for a Guaranteed Income will be involved in assisting its development.
In a statement from DAP Health CEO David Brinkman, the city’s transgendered population is “one of the most marginalized populations in our city who face some of the highest levels of housing insecurity, joblessness and discrimination.”
His remarks were echoed by Queer Works CEO Jacob Rostowsky that transgendered and non-binary people “are highly marginalized in our society in general, especially economically.”
Rostowsky added that the city of Palm Springs would have to match any state funds toward the project, which is estimated to be at $1.8 million.
In other words, the project is expected to cost several times more to develop than the amount it intends to disperse to the city’s needy transgendered and non-binary population.