LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Southland coalition of parents, students, and nonprofit and faith groups gathered outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters in downtown L.A. Wednesday as part of a referendum effort to overturn a controversial bill that critics say promotes unisex bathrooms at public schools.
Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in August, Assembly Bill 1266 allows transgender students in grades K-12 to choose which restrooms they use and which school teams they join based on their gender identity instead of their chromosomes.
KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports existing state law already prohibits California schools from discriminating against students based on their gender identity, AB 1266 marks the first time any state in the U.S. has mandated such treatment by statute.
The Privacy For All Students coalition, which has members from various organizations including National Council of Negro Women, National Action Network L.A.; Park Mesa Heights Community Council, Top Ladies of Distinction, and Robbins Memorial Church of God in Christ, is hoping to collect 500,000 signatures on a petition (PDF) by Nov. 1 to overturn AB 1266.
Volunteer spokesperson Lady Cage-Barile said some dads are especially upset over the bill.
“Fathers are in an uproar, because they definitely do not want little boys going into the restroom with their little girls in elementary school,” Cage-Barile said.
But supporters like John O’Connor of Equality California said the worries are unfounded.
“It is a fear-mongering tactic to get parents alarmed,” said O’Connor.
At its convention in Anaheim earlier this month, the California Republican Party voted to officially support the referendum to overturn AB 1266.