How Transgender Students In California Could Lose Their Rights
Opponents of a groundbreaking California law that gives transgender students certain rights are fighting to repeal the act, and the group says they have collected enough signatures for a ballot measure.
Privacy for all Students, a conservative coalition, announced on Sunday that they submitted 620,000 signatures to get on the 2014 ballot—well over the 505,000 signatures required. However, each of the 58 California counties must check the validity of the signatures through a random sampling over the next few weeks before the referendum can be approved.
"Many people said we had no chance to collect over half a million signatures in just 90 days, but we have proven them wrong by gathering over 115,000 more signatures than the minimum needed," Gina Gleason of the group Faith and Public Policy, said in a statement.
The act, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Aug. 12 and will take into effect Jan. 1, 2014, will combat discrimination against transgender public school students from kindergarten through 12th grade by allowing them such rights as using restroom facilities and joining sports teams based on their gender identity. California is the only state in the nation to have approved this law, and Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez said the law "puts California at the forefront of leadership on transgender rights," reported CBS News.
The group that threatens this law is backed by the National Organization for Marriage and political strategist Frank Schubert—who is called the "Karl Rove of the anti-gay movement," MSNBC reported.
“It’s unfortunate to see state resources wasted by fringe groups that want to eliminate opportunities for vulnerable youth to succeed in school—especially with so many critical issues impacting Californians, including jobs, the budget, and health care,” Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center (TLC) told BuzzFeed. “The groups behind this referendum effort are the same ones who brought us Prop 8. They know they can’t win on marriage equality, so now they are trying to target our kids.”