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Conservative Groups Look at Referendum on Transgender Student Equality

There is a lot of misinformation going around about California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's transgender student equality law. Since Gov. Brown signed it last week, the right-wingers have been stirring themselves into a frenzy online. If you are really intent on wading into the sewers, you can always Google "transgender equality free republic" and find such nonsense as:

 

So all a guy has to do is say is that he believes he is a woman trapped in a mans body but that that woman is a lesbian so that he can use the girls-room and it's open season?

 

So this is what we are dealing with as we seek to protect some of the most bullied students in our educational system. Unemployment rates in the transgender community are more than double the general population. If we are serious about protecting our students, this is a critical step that we must take.

AB 1266 is a short bill, but it is definitely not a simple bill. The bill allows students to "use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records." Implementation of the law is up to local officials for the time being, but this will not be an easy process. Gender identity has a meaning far deeper than a teenage prankster will really care to carry the joke. Gender identity is all pervasive in our lives, kids are simply not going to fake it. That's a red herring that the right wing just can't seem to get over. And because of that, they have plans for the legislation:

Republican lawmakers denounced the move on social media, and Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, said he would pull his children from public school.

On Friday, some of those detractors filed a referendum to overturn the law, which they have dubbed the "the co-ed bathroom bill."

"We respect that some students are struggling with their own sexual identity, but we ask for respect for the other students who will be humiliated when a boy walks into the [girls'] locker room," said Karen England, who is executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute and the contact point on paperwork submitted to the attorney general's office. "This is a privacy issue, a safety issue, and a common sense issue."(SacBee)

There is really very little to be surprised at in this statement. Karen England is uninformed and afraid of what she does not understand. The "boy" that will be treated like a female student will not be some horny kid looking for jollies. It will be children fighting to understand themselves, just looking for the same rights to safely participate as every other student.

You may recognize Karen England's name. She also tried to put SB 48 to a referndum. That bill included LGBT Californians in our educational curriculum, and she just couldn't handle that either. England wasn't successful in signature gathering for that measure, and likely won't be for this measure either. She is merely spitting into the winds of progress. And as for Donnelly, well, my guess is that his threat rings hollow on any number of levels.

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