Landmark Protections

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Law Offering New Rights to CA Transgender Students

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law landmark legislation that allows transgender students to participate in school programs, including sports, based on their gender identity. The measure, which passed the state legislature almost entirely on the basis of support from Democrats, removes barriers that transgender students previously experienced to any sex-segregated school program or facility.

“While many California schoolchildren are already protected by policies in some of our biggest school districts, other districts don’t seem to understand that transgender students should have equal access to all programs and facilities,” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, the bill’s author, said.

Under the new law, transgender students can participate in sports and other activities on the basis of the gender by which they identify. In addition, transgender students will be able to use locker rooms and restrooms on the same basis.

Opponents of the measure complained that it robs parents of their choice and gasped at the idea of bathrooms not being biologically segregated (as if they are in every home in the nation). However, supporters of the bill said that a similar policy in place in the Los Angeles  School District has been successful for eight years.

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  • erasure25

    Massachusetts and Connecticut have policies also, but CA is the first to enact it by statute. The sky isn’t falling in either of those states as well. The nay-sayer like to point to hypothetical problems that never come true.

  • niles

    As a homosexual, I quite prefer biologically separated restrooms and lockerrooms,
    thank you. As for this law, they are opening up a huge can of worms which could blow up in the Dems faces in Ca.

  • Thedrdonna

    @niles: Do you do a genital check of your co-occupants of the bathroom? Or do you demand blood samples to be checked for the correct DNA markers? Or, most likely, you make an assumption about someone based on their gender expression, and this sort of bill simply makes it so people aren’t policed out of a bathroom because they aren’t presenting as “masculine” or “feminine” enough.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Hurray for politicians who protect these too-often-overlooked, vulnerable young people from discrimination.

  • Scribe38

    I wouldn’t mind sharing a locker room / shower room with a FTM transsexual. I do have a question though, please excuse my ignorance on the issue. Are the hormones given to transsexuals enough to allow FTM and MTF to complete on equal ground in sports? Wouldn’t the MTF have a big advantage and the FTM be open to getting hurt?

  • Jessie R

    @Scribe38: After about a year of hormone therapy, a trans person will have performance comparable to other people who share their gender. Even the Olympics only requires 2 years of HRT before a trans athelete can compete as the gender they identify with.

  • BitterOldQueen

    I know I’m courting criticism here, but is this a solution in search of a problem? The Transgender Law & Policy Institute cites a Dutch study that estimates somewhere between 1 in 12,000 and 1 in 34,000 people are biologically transgender. I am certainly NOT (that is, NOT, as in NOT) suggesting that anyone’s needs or rights should be ignored just because they’re a minority. I just can’t help feeling that a dramatic, broad-brush approach like this (while certainly a “feel-good” opportunity) is possibly more solution than the problem involved, and that a statutory mandate like this one is likely to create more problems and confusion than it helps anyone. Sometimes smaller, more focused solutions are better answers for the people whose problems are being solved.

  • Thedrdonna

    @BitterOldQueen: How do you think this oversteps the bounds of protecting trans students?

  • BitterOldQueen

    @Thedrdonna: Fair enough. OK so as I said, I’m NOT (see the NOTx3 in my post) suggesting that any at-risk students should not be protected. NOT. Just that a more localized approach to protecting actual individuals maybe possibly would perhaps be more effective. That is, the statute ASSUMES, based on no particular evidence, that (a) every California school has trans students who need protection and (b) that the best way to protect the rights and interests of trans students is by opening up bathrooms and sports teams. I’m NOT objecting to the need to protect trans students, just questioning whether this statute is supported by facts or just rainbows. In the end, if it’s supportable by fact then I’m all about it. If it’s just a statute designed to make everyone feel good and make the problem go away (which I question), then it helps no one. The analogy would be (to step in it again) that California law mandates a certain number of parking spaces be set aside for disabled-accessible parking. My workplace, following the law, has 5 spaces set aside for accessibility, only one of which has been used in the past five years, for a brief period by an individual with a broken leg. The rest of the time, prime parking spaces sit empty and unused. I don’t know the right answer, but the result seems not exactly right.

  • Thedrdonna

    @BitterOldQueen: I think that the difference is that no extra facilities or any of that are required, the law simply safeguards the right of transgender students to use the facilities and classes most appropriate to their gender identity. I think, also, it’s important to note that a more localized approach would be slower, and would effectively require that a trans student publicly out themselves in order to establish a specific need. Not to mention the fact that more conservative local lawmakers might prevent the enactment of those measures, even when the need has been established.

  • Scribe38

    @Jessie R: thank you. I am working on being more trans issue aware. I haven’t ever had a conversation with a transsexual person. Looking to make my world a little more inclusive

  • Kangol

    Very good follow-through, Governor Brown! See what a positive difference a Democratic legislature with a Democratic governor have made together. Keep it up, California!

  • ucak bileti

    Hello I am uçak bileti from Turkey and I support to your idea! Unfortunately many people don’t comply with the rules. such as last year I rent a car in Ankara and when I drive in a public area, I saw nonsencial treatment

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