California is the first state to enshrine certain rights for transgender K-12 students in state law, requiring public schools to allow those students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1266 into law in August. The new law gives students the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.
It comes as the families of transgender students have been waging local battles with school districts around the country over what restrooms and locker rooms their children can use.
For 16-year old Ashton Lee, a transgendered teen who delivered almost 6,000 signatures to Governor Brown in favor of the law, it really wasn’t that big a deal.
“Everyone that I was talking with today was just giving me high-fives and hand slaps and on the back and ‘aw cool, that’s great,” Lee was quoted by Associated Press as saying about the reaction of his fellow students at Manteca High School back on Aug. 12.
Manteca High is one of many in California that’s already adjusted to support transgendered students.
“They appreciate me getting involved and taking a stand and saying what I have to say and they want to help me achieve my greatest at school,” he said
Opponents like Randy Thomasson with SaveCalifornia.com believe the law will bring chaos in schools, allowing boys to use girl’s restrooms and girls to use boy’s restrooms.
“They are living a lie. They have declared themselves the opposite gender when their chromosomes and the equipment that God gave them says otherwise,” Thomasson said.
The organization has since submitted more than 600,000 signatures to get a measure on the November 2014 ballot to repeal the measure. They need to have 505,000 signatures that are legally acceptable to accomplish that. The signatures are now in the process of being verified by the Secretary of State’s office.