Groups Pursue Referendum Petition In Effort To Put Transgender Student Rights Law On Statewide Ballot

by Joe Mello, Community Correspondent

If your ad were here, people all over town just like you would see it now.

Email us by clicking here and we'll show you how easy and smart it is.

(Sept. 26, 2013) -- Opponents of AB 1266, a bill signed into law on Aug. 12 by Governor Jerry Brown giving transgender public school students specified rights in sex segregated school programs and activities, are pursuing a statewide referendum (vote of the people) to repeal the measure.

Referendum proponent Gina Gleason (Watchmen Ministry director, former write-in Republican candidate for Lt. Gov.) invoked Article II, §9 of the CA Constitution and CA Elections Code §9001(a) in requesting the Attorney General's office to prepare a title and summary, verbiage that would be placed on petitions that, if signed by over half a million registered voters and submitted within 90 days, would trigger the referendum election.

The Secretary of State's office has assigned the measure a circulation deadline of November 10, 2013, with 504,760 petition signatures required by registered voters.

If signed by the required number of registered voters and timely filed with the Secretary of State, the petition will place on the statewide ballot a challenge to a state law previously approved by the Legislature and the Governor. The law must then be approved by a majority of voters at the next statewide election to go into effect. The law would permit elementary/secondary school students to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with the student?s gender identity. (13-0015.)

AB 1266, titled "Pupil rights: sex-segregated school programs and activities" and.authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D., San Francisco), requires CA public schools (effective Jan. 1, 2014) to allow transgender students to choose which restrooms to use and whether to participate in boys or girls sports based on the student's self-declared gender-identity, not their gender as listed in school records.

To view AB 1266 as passed by both houses of the CA legislature and signed into law by the Governor, click here.

The measure passed the Assembly on a 46-25 vote with Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal (D, Long Beach-San Pedro) voting yes. To view the full Assembly vote tally, click here. The bill passed the state Senate in July on a 21-9 vote with state Senator Ricardo Lara (D., Long Beach-Huntington Park) voting "yes" and with state Senator Rod Wright (D, NLB-Inglewood) and Senator Ted Lieu (D., southbay) among those listed as "No Vote Recorded." To view the full state Senate vote tally, click here.

At the legislative level, the bill's supporters included The Center Long Beach, the CA State PTA, the CA Teachers Ass'n, the CA Federation of Teachers and the ACLU of CA.

The law makes California the first state to legislate rights for authentically self-identifying transgender K-12 students rights in California schools "to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities" based on their identifying gender.

Supporters of the new law have say it is a landmark in transgender rights laws. Transgender individuals assert an unequivocal, good faith belief as to their gender identity and their transgender status and the law's supporters hold that transgender girls (anatomically male at birth who now identify as female) and transgender boys (vice versa) are in fact (in respective order here) girls and boys without qualification and thus should be treated consistent with their self-declared gender identity. On this basis, if the student self-identifies as a girl, she is a girl and would logically want to use the girls' restroom and play on a girls' sports team (with parallel usage for self-identifying boys.)

Critics of the law say it will violate the privacy rights of students of one anatomical gender who might find themselves sharing restrooms and locker rooms with transgender students of their shared self-identified gender but with the opposite anatomical equipment. Opponents have dubbed the law the "Co-Ed Bathroom Bill."

The Aug. 16 filed referendum paperwork lists Ms. Gleason (above) and Karen England, Executive Director of the Capitol Resource Institute (website text: "What strengthens families, strengthens California") for all public comments and inquiries on the measure. It lists the Pacific Pacific Justice Institute (website text: "Defending religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties") for contact on legal matters.

To qualify a referendum for the November 2014 ballot to overturn the law requires collecting and submitting roughly 504,760 valid registered voter signatures within 90 days.

Supporters of the referendum have launched advocacy websites: Gender Insanity (website text: "The next attack on your family" at and Privacy For All Students (website text: "Coming to California Public Schools: Boys in Girls' Locker Rooms" at".)

In an emailed dispatch on its Facebook Page, the Capitol Resource Institute states in pertinent part:

[Capitol Resource Institute text] Californians are taking a stand for privacy, safety and common sense. Governor Brown signed AB 1266 into law. Finally, he thought, California students would be liberated from the burden of sex-segregated bathrooms.

He forgot that Californians still have something to say about their laws. [emphasis in original]

Within days a referendum effort was filed to overturn AB 1266. Karen England, Executive Director of Capitol Resource Institute, appeared on The Mike Huckabee show over the weekend to comment on the new law, the first of its kind in the nation. Media Matters was quick to dismiss her comments. Apparently they have bought the idea that the most compassionate response to a 16-year-old boy struggling with his sexual identity is to tell him to start dressing down in the girl's locker room.

Capitol Resource Institute intends to be a conduit of information and opinions on this new law and the effort to overturn it...[The dispatch goes on to invite recipients to make supportive donation.]

Meanwhile, in an Aug. 15 press release foreshadowing possible legal challenges to the measure, the Pacific Justice Institute states in pertinent part:

...PJI attorneys, who led the opposition to the bill in the Legislature, have drafted and are now offering at no charge to the public a "Notice of Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" [which] covers a range of privacy interests, including not only students' privacy interests in bathroom and locker rooms, but also strip searches, personal beliefs, disclosure of grades, and biometric data concerns that have been raised by critics of the newly-implemented Common Core educational standards.

...PJI fully expects court battles in the near future over the bill. "The school bathroom bill is on a collision course with the Constitution," noted PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds, one of the drafters of the Notice. "We urge parents to contact us immediately when they become aware that a self-proclaimed transgender student is violating their child’s privacy rights."

The "Notice of Reasonable Expectation of Privacy" (that PJI says parents can file with their child's school administrators) recites in part that the parents "invoke, assert and expressly do not waive the constitutional and privacy rights of ourselves and our children" and includes (one of several check form boxes) that "our child will not be subjected to the view of any other person, adult or minor, whether in person by camera or by other visual surveillance, in a state of either full or partial nudity, when that person does not share the anatomical, biological and chromosomal sex of our child."

In 2012, the Pacific Justice Institute supported an effort to qualify a referendum against SB 48, a measure likewise signed into law by Gov. Brown, which mandated the inclusion of appropriate grade level LGBT history and historic figures into the CA school curriculum. The signature gathering for that referendum fell short by over 54,000 signatures by the signature gathering deadline.

Developing...with further to follow on

blog comments powered by Disqus

Follow w/




Return To Front Page

Contact us:

Return To Front Page

Contact us:

Copyright © 2013, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use/Legal policy, click here. Privacy Policy, click here