California's Republican Party is supporting efforts to overturn a recently approved measure that seeks to provide protections for transgender students in public schools, BuzzFeed reports.
Signed by Governor Jerry Brown in August, the School Success and Opportunity Act aims to ensure that transgender students can take part in all school activities, sports teams and programs, as well as access facilities that accord with their gender identity. The measure is scheduled to come into effect in January, but state Republican leaders last weekend voted in favour of a resolution to back opponents of the legislation in their bid to have the law repealed in a referendum during fall elections next year, the report says.
The coalition spearheading the repeal effort is Privacy for All Students, whose members contend that the law infringes on parental rights, BuzzFeed notes. One coalition member also claimed that the measure is "forcing" girls and boys to use the same facilities, which she said is a form of bullying.
A gay regional vice-chair of the GOP party, who says the resolution did not pass easily, complains that its supporters are the "same people who opposed marriage equality," suggesting that they are "running out of issues" and are now using transgender students as a "new boogeyman."
But Greg Gandrud also doubts that the coalition can gather the 500,000 signatures required before the November deadline.
The Transgender Law Center's executive director, Masen Davis, criticized the Republican Party for throwing its support behind the referendum push.
“We have a lot of fairminded Republicans in the state that believe in supporting all of our youth, and I don’t believe the decision this weekend speaks for them.”