We reported on this before in terms of what the bill would and would not do... but fear spreads faster than truth and after fear-monger experts National Organization of Marriage joined the signature gathering efforts their numbers doubled. Their campaign of outright lies and misinformation was a success.
In fact, opponents to the law needed 505,000 signatures and they claim to have turned in close to 620,000.
So, what happens next? Those signatures must be verified.
To verify the signatures, each of California’s 58 counties will first check that the overall count is correct, then conduct a random sampling to make sure they are legitimate. After that, it is likely the state would order a full review.
If, after all of the reviews, the group has the requisite number of valid signatures, the initiative would qualify for the ballot.
And that means another hot button ballot option in the November 2014 election.
The success of the signature gathering efforts is a huge blow to the LGBT community, many of whom assumed that there was no way enough signatures could be gathered in the 90 days given.
California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement :
“This law is about making sure there is a safe place for transgender students to fully participate in their schools. For too long, transgender members of our society have suffered through the indignity of exclusion, and this bill rights those wrongs by giving protections that would keep transgender students safe and give them recognition for who they truly are. I will continue my work in protecting the rights of all Californians – gay, lesbian, straight or transgender – to ensure that no one is left without a voice.”
There is no word yet on how long the verification process will take but in the meantime AB 1266 is suspended and will not take effect on January 1st.
So for now, there is not much we can do... but wait... and prepare ourselves for a fight in November.