Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Applaud Governor Brown for signing transgender student bill into law
Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill into that enables transgender public school students to select which bathroom they use and also gives them the option to participate in female or male sports. All 6.2 million elementary and high schools in California are covered under this law, which represents a huge step in protecting transgendered youth in California. The law will mitigate bullying against transgender students and cut back on the plethora of lawsuits that many families of transgender students have waged against school districts.
This law will allow transgender students to focus on academics and live a normal life rather than facing constant humiliation and subjection to taunting. Furthermore, transgender students will be able to have a fair chance at success. California is the first state to pass such a law with such a large blanket effect for LGBT youth statewide. It was backed by various organizations including the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, ACLU of California, equality California, and Transgender Law Center. Colorado, Connecticut, Washington and Massachusetts all have adopted similar legislation that aims to protect transgendered students.
Opponents of the bill say that permitting pupils of one gender access to facilities designed for another violates the privacy of other students using the same facilities. This violation would no doubt damage the other students psychologically. They believe that such a radical bill distorts the gender expectations of children. However, that claim in itself sounds ludicrous based on the grim, daily reality that despite the prohibition of discrimination against students based on their gender identity and sexual orientation, transgendered students are unfairly excluded from athletic teams and other school activities because of their identity. Although the implementation and enforcement of this law will be difficult, the law nonetheless represents progress for transgendered rights in the United States.
This California law is the first state law in the United States that specifically requires students to have equal access to public school activities and facilities predicated on a student’s gender identity. It will lessen the discrimination transgendered students face daily at school. Applaud Governor Brown for passing this radical measure that advances the protection of transgendered students on a statewide rather than merely a local scale.
Dear Governor Jerry Brown,
We applaud you for signing into a law a bill that advances the nation’s protection of transgendered students on a large scale. This law will allow transgendered students to participate in either boy or girl sports and have access to male or female facilities based on their gender identity. This law will not only lessen the discrimination transgendered students face at school on a daily basis but will also ensure that transgendered pupils have the same chance at succeeding as their peers.
This law will force 6.2 million elementary and high schools throughout California to comply. Although the enforcement of this law statewide may pose challenges, your approval of this proposed bill represents progress towards equality for transgendered youth in the United States. We commend this radical step towards equality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Rhodes via Flickr