SACRAMENTO — A coalition comprised of parents, students, churches and other non-profit organizations has submitted over a half a million signatures to California election officials in an effort to place the state’s ‘Bathroom Bill’ on the ballot.
“This bill would require that a pupil be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records,” the legislation outlines.
California legislators overwhelmingly approved what has been coined the “Bathroom Bill” in the House and Senate, even though its author—Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano—admitted that the new measures would “perhaps” make some children “uncomfortable.”
“I don’t want to minimize that,” Ammiano said according to the BBC, “but new experiences are often uncomfortable. That can’t be an excuse for prejudice.”
But a number of pro-family groups have staunchly insisted that the new law will have disastrous ramifications, and many have banded together to help overturn the statute. The Privacy For All Students (PFAS) coalition is the result of the collective concerns of Christians and others across the state.
On Sunday, the group announced that it had submitted over 620,000 signatures to election officials in hopes of qualifying for a referendum that would give voters a chance to overturn the state’s Bathroom Bill.
“We are grateful to the thousands of volunteers who have worked tirelessly in churches and neighborhoods across California,” said Gina Gleason of Faith & Public Policy, the referendum proponent. “Many people said we had no chance to collect over half a million signatures in just 90 days, but we have proven them wrong by gathering over 115,000 more signatures than the minimum needed.”
“As far as we are aware, this is the largest number of volunteer signatures ever submitted in a California referendum campaign,” added Karen England of Capitol Resources Institute, a member of the PFAS executive committee. “It shows the degree of opposition that exists to opening the most vulnerable areas of public schools to the opposite sex.”
Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills also recently appeared in a promotional video for the effort, which urged California residents to sign the petition.
“Jesus said to be salt and light. Jesus also said that we are to defend the innocent children. If you and I do not do it, then who will?” he asked. “God forbid that on our watch we would allow our kids to be exposed to such a terrible law that has been put forth, and will become practice [on January 1st] if we don’t stop it.”
PFAS says that it may take several months before they learn whether the referendum will be allowed to be added to the state ballot.