Should boys who think they are girls be allowed to use the locker rooms and bathrooms of their choice?
That’s the issue facing California lawmakers as they consider Assembly Bill 1266 – legislation that would require all public schools to allow students to access to facilities consistent with their gender identity.
“AB 1266 forces San Francisco values on all California schools,” said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute. “This is a very radical idea. You’re going to have first-grade boys going to the restroom next to first-grade girls without any supervision.”
England said the bill would allow students of any gender to access public school bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice. It would also students to participate in sports activities based on “that student’s assertion that he or she identifies as having a different private sense of their own gender regardless of their biological gender at birth.”
San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said his bill simply clarifies existing non-discrimination provisions in the education code. He said districts must offer transgender students equal access to programs and facilities based on their gender identity.
“No student can learn if they feel they have to hide who they are in school,” he said in a statement.
The California Assembly already passed his legislation and it’s under consideration in the Senate.
“This shows the nobility of what a Legislature can do,” he said in a written statement.
He identified gender identity as a “person’s internal, deeply-rooted identification as male or female.”
England said parents or students who feel uncomfortable with their daughters showering next to boys – are being accused of being bigots.
“And now if a girl doesn’t want to shower with a boy, there’s something wrong with you,” She said.
The assemblyman’s office provided a statement acknowledging that some parents and students may be uncomfortable with the law.
“Discomfort is not an excuse for discrimination,” he said in a statement.
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said even the most liberal politicians should see the dangers in the proposed law.
“Allowing boys and girls as young as five, or as astute as seventeen, to be able to pick and choose which gender’s bathroom to use is outrageous,” he said.
England called the proposed law radical and extreme.
“It’s a big deal when you are mandating that every single public school in California allow opposite gender boys and girls into the boys and girls locker rooms and restrooms,” she said. “Just because a boy wakes up one day and says he believes he’s a girl – they shouldn’t be allowed access to the girls locker room.”
Peter Sprigg, with the Family Research Council, said the proposed law is trying to affirm a falsehood.
“It’s being demanded that we affirm that a man can become a woman and a woman can become a man,” he said. “Even though the chromosomes and every sing cell in their body will never change. This is an absurdity.”
Sprigg said it was especially troubling that advocates are using children to push an agenda.
“It’s one thing for an adult to decide they want to be the opposite sex,” he said. ‘But for us to allow children to make these life-altering decisions – and even affirm and celebrate that – is particularly alarming.”