Friday, November 1, 2013

Bathrooms, Bigots and Ballots... Oh My!

There is a lot going on regarding AB 1266 also known as The School Success and Opportunity Act. Here is a quick breakdown.

First off, a legitimate explanation of the bill from the bill itself  (Read the whole thing here:, AB 1266 )

This bill would require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.

Why do we need this law? 
- Despite anti-discrimination laws in place for years, many transgender students—young people whose sex at birth is opposite from who they know they are on the inside—have been wrongly excluded from participating in school-based activities, programs, and facilities because school administrators don’t understand the requirement to treat all students equally.

Before the law was passed, many high school administrators were unaware of their obligations to provide all students with the same opportunities to succeed, transgender students are denied the opportunity to fully participate in school activities—like taking part in physical education classes—and are unable to earn the credits they need to graduate.

The School Success and Opportunity Act restates existing anti-discrimination law requiring that transgender students—just like all students—must be provided with a supportive school environment where they have equal opportunities to become successful.

The new law was supported by more than 40 organizations, including the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, Parent Teachers Association, the California Association of School Counselors, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality California, Transgender Law Center, GSA Network and Gender Spectrum.

So, what's the status of the bill:
- Signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in August
- Goes into effect on January 1st, 2014

Ok... how about the practical things the bill will do?
It will allow transgender youth to use whatever bathroom and participate on whichever sports team they believe matches their gender identity.

What it WON'T do:
- Install co-ed bathrooms
- Put non-transgender children at risk
- Lead to the downfall of Western Civilization

Couldn't a pervy boy pretend that he is a transgirl and then gain access to the girl's bathrooms for nefarious reasons?
- That would be extremely difficult to accomplish  In order for a student to be granted the rights of their desired gender, there are a series of serious hoops to jump through. As in... a LOT of work and documentation. Read the laundry list of requirements here.

Who's against this bill and what are they doing about it?
- Organizations like The National Organization of Marriage (remember NOM from 2008? They are still around being bigots.) and other religious and conservative groups think the law puts cis students (non-transgender students) at risk. They obviously haven't read the link above.
- They have vowed to fight the bill. 
- They have until November 10 to submit at least 504,760 valid signatures in order to put a repeal  of the bill on the state ballot next year.

Signature Gathering People? Hey... I think I saw a guy at Wal-Mart getting signatures for "student privacy".. is this the same thing?

At a Fresno Wal-Mart

- Yes. Please don't sign
- Those groups will stop at nothing to get enough signatures. Originally a lot of people thought that they were just fringe hate groups, but never under estimate the power of hateful and motivated. By saying that it is a "privacy" issue, they are preying on our sense of privacy and common sense. No one wants to get peeped at in the bathroom... so why not sigh? 
- Of course they are misleading the public to get signatures, but sadly that won't matter if they get enough, the law will be derailed and the repeal will be on the ballot. 

But wait.. there's more! Why simply lie and gather signatures when you could start a smear campaign?
- First in Colorado: Fox News reported that a transgender student was harassing other students in the bathroom. But guess what? No such harassment occurred and it turns out that it was a parent who fabricated the story
- Next, Salt and Light Ministry, a nonprofit project of Temecula, Calif.'s Calvary Chapel Upland told San Diego's ABC affiliate last week that a transgender student in Los Angeles was peeking over the tops of restroom stalls to look at female schoolmates. But guess what? The story was quickly debunked and it turns out that it was yet another parent fabrication! 

What can we do?
- Decline to sign if you see any signature gatherers
- Report any signature gatherers you see 1-866-377-0578 or email
- Spread the word that AB1266 isn't evil, it isn't bad for students, and it IS about equality.

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