Jelly Belly Chairman Donates $5k to Turn Back The Rights of Trans Students In California


Jelly Belly jellybeans are known for being sweet, but it turns out that for transgender people, their current chair is anything but.

Back in August, California passed landmark legislation to support their transgender students from grades K-12 in all school districts. The “School Success and Opportunity Act” (also known as bill AB1266) gives transgender students in California the right to choose programs and use facilities (i.e. sports and restrooms) based on their gender identity and not their birth gender. Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland Sr. however, has a problem with that. He has been outed as a donor of of $5,000 to the “Privacy Of All Students” initiative campaign, which seeks to gather enough signatures to put a repeal of the School Success and Opportunity Act on the ballot for the upcoming 2014 election.

As if the idea of the chairman of a candy company trying to hurt children wasn’t evil enough, one of the masterminds behind the “Privacy Of All Students” initiative campaign is none other than Prop. 8 strategist Frank Schubert, who is currently the political director for professional gay haters National Organization for Marriage. Schubert is advising the initiative during the signature gathering phase and will manage the campaign if it qualifies for the ballot.

If all of this cartoon villainy is a bit too much for you, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has started a petition that seeks to get Rowland, Sr. to back off of his support for the bill and to give the public an idea of just where their money may be going when they buy that bag of tasty Jelly Belly jellybeans at the register.

According to the Privacy For All Students initiative website, nearly 505,000 signatures are needed and must be delivered by Wednesday, November 6.

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  • Tookietookie123

    I always hated jelly beans anyways.

  • Katbox

    He only donated $5,000 because he knows it’s pointless- he just wanted to show the world how big of a douche he is.

  • hyhybt

    It would be good to know what positions the company takes on this or related issues, if any. The notion that a business should be held accountable for the private actions of anyone who happens to be employed there, even at that high a level (and unless it’s the owner) is unreasonable.

  • DarkZephyr

    Aw crap. Unlike Tookie and Chris, I actually liked Jelly Bellies. Now I have to avoid them. :(

  • Greg Garavani

    Ew, yeah Jelly Beans are nasty, they shouldn’t even be charging people for them.

  • Scribe38

    @Greg Garavani: I think Jelly Bellies suck… Try starburst they are sooo tasty

  • Jimmy

    Just another A typical type with money and power, thinking they know what is right. There in showing their lack of common sense and the compassion towards anyone that is not like them or thinks, or has the same moral standards as them. Time to Boycott Jelly Belly and show them our opinion of their stance on their horrid decision.

  • dvlaries

    Well, no cinnamon Jelly Bellys for me then, even if they sold them somewhere convenient to me at all. No loss; Hot Tamales handle the urge just as well.

  • nevereclipsed81

    So now I have two reasons not to buy his jelly beans.. one he’s a bigot, and two, he apparently swims around in large room of them.. no thanks.

  • MargaretJordan

    Christina responded I am stunned that a stay at home mom able to get paid 9676 bucks in one month on the internet. find out this here—->

  • Jerry12

    ONLY @5,000??? Cheapskate!!! I guess Jelly Belly’s are not selling so well.

  • Harley

    WHAT! I can’t stick jelly bellies in my ass and make my boy toy eat them? Oh, come on.

  • merijustus

    Use to love Jelly Bellies but have not bought any in quite a while, I was looking at a small, M&M size bag, the other day and they wanted almost $5.00 Thats why I haven’t bought none in a long there is an even better reason not to.

  • ndp

    @hyhybt: It’s a private business owned by his family and he is the sole board member. So basically, it is his company.

  • Large Marge

    @merijustus: Wait till after easter and scoop up the savings on non-hate candy.

  • zante

    I am usually very liberal and supportive of rights of gay people. However, as the mother of two daughters, I would not have wanted a boy who identified as a girl going into the girls’ restroom at their school. I think the push to allow this is intrusive on the rights of non-transgender children to have privacy in the restrooms. I don’t think what this guy is supporting is hateful. I know it would have made my daughter VERY uncomfortable to have a boy in her school restroom.

  • iaremusic

    @zante: But Zante, how would you feel if you were the parent of that boy? Or that boy? Kids are uncomfortable with anything out of the norm – but it’s a parent’s job to teach them how to deal with it. You set the example. They’d likely get over it pretty quickly if YOU did. And what a wonderful example they’d set for the other kids. You’d teach them to be accepting of a differently-abled, or disfigured GIRL who used the same restroom they did, right? And frankly, that would likely be just as weird to them.

  • ashayavar

    @zante: A “boy who identifies as a girl” is not a boy. She is a girl, full stop. Imagine your daughter’s distress if they told her she had to use the boy’s restroom. Imagine being a little girl yourself, wearing a little pink dress and ribbons because that’s what’s comfortable, and walking into the boy’s room because someone else decided that’s where you “belong”.

    As the partner of a transman, I can tell you figuring out how to handle going to the bathroom was one of the single most stressful things for him when he first began living as a man. He didn’t look like a girl, so using the women’s restroom would’ve would’ve made women uncomfortable and caused unnecessary drama, on top of being downright degrading to him. And yet he was worried that if he used the men’s, someone might recognize him or somehow figure out he wasn’t born a biological male and he’d get harassed or worse. Using a gender-neutral bathroom is weird: no one uses them unless the normal ones are full or closed, so he’d have risked outing himself as trans. And that’s assuming gender-neutral bathrooms are even provided, which they aren’t in most places. There were times when he just wouldn’t stray out of the house for long periods so he wouldn’t have to face the choice. It was extremely helpful that our city passed an ordinance allowing people to use bathrooms based on their gender identities. His fears persisted, but at least he knew he wasn’t going to get arrested or kicked out just for trying to go.

    A trans woman is no less a woman than you are, and she no more wants to use the men’s room than you do.

  • hyhybt

    @zante: How would she even know, unless she were told, presuming the physically male girl is allowed to dress and act as the other girls? Don’t girls’ restrooms in schools have stalls?

  • hyhybt

    @ashayavar: Amen.

  • dragonwolf82

    @zante: Before this law was passed, there were boys using the girls bathroom. They were Transboys. Even though their birth gender was female, they identified as male. It is hard enough being transgender without society making life even more difficult. When I was a child I knew I was male even though society and my parents kept telling me I was a girl. It is very hard being told that you are wrong about the very essence of who you are. Let’s give these kids a break and help them…not stand in their way.

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