SACRAMENTO (AP) — Another attempt is underway to repeal a law that allows transgender students in California schools to choose which restrooms they use and whether to play on boys’ or girls’ sports teams.
Opponents of the law have filed an initiative with the California attorney general’s office that would require people to use “facilities in accordance with their biological sex in all government buildings.”
California in 2013 became the first state to enshrine rights for transgender K-12 students when Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1266, which requires transgender students to have access to restrooms and locker rooms of their choosing.
Supporters said it will help reduce bullying and discrimination against transgender students. It came as the families of transgender students waged local battles with school districts across the country over what restrooms and locker rooms their children could use.
Opponents of the law call it an invasion of privacy.
“We have great compassion for any person that is uncomfortable in traditional, sex-separated facilities,” Gina Gleason, a proponent of the initiative, said in a statement. “But we also want to protect the privacy that most of us expect when we are in public bathrooms, showers and dressing areas.”
An effort to place an initiative on the ballot in 2014 did not make the ballot after many signatures were rejected by local elections officials as not valid.
Proponents have sued to have the signatures reconsidered.
Regardless of that outcome, the group’s chance of making it onto the ballot are better in 2016, as the number of signatures needed to qualify for the California ballot has dropped to less than 366,000 because of low voter turnout last year. That compares with the 505,000 valid signatures needed to qualify in 2014.
The measure is subject to a 30-day comment period before the attorney general issues a title and summary.