California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a controversial bill into law late yesterday afternoon, allowing the state's transgender public school students to choose which bathrooms they use and whether they participate in boy or girl sports, the California Catholic Daily website reports today (August 14, 2013).
The law will cover the state's 6.2 million elementary and high school students in public schools.
Supporters say the law will help cut down bullying against transgender students. 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. California is the first state to pass a law of this magnitude, although four other states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington, and Colorado -- have already adopted similar policies to protect transgendered pupils.
Opponents of the law say allowing students of one gender to use bathroom and locker facilities intended for the other could invade the other students' privacy. Randy Thomasson -- a strong opponent of the law -- says, "This radical bill warps the gender expectations of children by forcing all California public schools to permit biological boys in girls' restrooms, showers, clubs and on girls' sports teams, and biological girls in boys' restrooms, showers, clubs and sports teams. This is insanity."