Sacramento, California — A bill in California that would mandate schools to allow boys to use girls’ restrooms and vice versa if they identified with the opposite gender has been approved by the state’s Assembly Education Committee.
AB 1266, also known as the “Bathroom Bill,” would serve as an amendment to the Education Code and would require all schools in the state to comply with its mandates.
“A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and facilities, including athletic teams and competitions, consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records,” the legislation reads.
It was approved to move forward in the legislature by a vote of 5-2 on Wednesday. It will likely now advance to the full Assembly, House and Senate for consideration.
“We were heavily outnumbered by transgender folk, transgender activists, the ACLU and teacher’s unions,” Matthew McReynolds, staff attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), told Christian News Network of the hearing that took place prior to the vote.
He advised that representatives with an organization called Gender Spectrum were also present, a group that teaches that there is no such thing as gender per se — but that some have more male or female traits and inclinations than others.
McReynolds had an opportunity to speak on behalf of PJI.
“I urged the committee to consider the private implications for all of the parents and students who were not being represented at the hearing,” he said. “The implications [of the bill] are pretty astounding.”
“Basically, any responsible adult has their hands tied so they can’t step in on behalf of the 99 percent,” McReynolds advised. “I fear that many parents are going to to find out too late.”
He explained that the bill would not only pertain to school restrooms, but would also entitle students who wished to identify with the opposite sex to be allowed to play on sports teams of that gender. Girls who identified as boys could play on male football teams, and boys who identified as girls could play on ladies’ tennis or swim teams. Coaches would then be required to allow that individual to change in the locker room with all of the other students of the opposite gender.
“Our sports and athletics [groups] here … they do have some policies in place, [but] this bill is so sweeping, it will likely override the existing safeguards that are in place,” McReynolds stated.
He said that although there were two committee members who voted against the furtherance of the bill, they “were not willing to stand up” and say anything to the contrary of the activists gathered.
Therefore, McReynolds urges parents in the state to be a voice on behalf of the children.
“We need tens of thousands of parents to call their legislators,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a catalyst like a committee vote [to get people mobilized].”
As previously reported, parents in Washington state became outraged last year when their young daughters, who participate in their local swim club, discovered a male sitting naked in the sauna “displaying male genitalia.” However, police and school representatives alike remarked that they could do little about the situation because of state law.
“We have to follow a nondiscrimination policy with the state,” Evergreen State College spokesperson Jason Wettstein outlined to reporters. “State law doesn’t allow us to ignore gender identity as one of the protected classes.”