The coalition of conservative groups
behind an effort to repeal California's first-in-the-nation
transgender student law said Sunday that it had collected enough
signatures to qualify for an initiative that seeks to repeal the law.
The law, AB1266, requires public
schools to allow transgender students access to the restroom and
locker room of their choice. Those students can also decide what
sports they want to play.
Supporters said the law will help
reduce discrimination faced by transgender students.
Frank Schubert, the political
strategist behind anti-gay marriage campaigns from California to
Maine, told the AP that Privacy for all Students submitted 620,000
signatures – 115,000 more than required – to qualify the issue
for next year's ballot.
“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,” Gina Gleason of the group Faith and Public Policy
said in a statement.
The law, which takes effect January 1,
was signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown in September.
John O'Connor, executive director of
Equality California, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate and a
co-sponsor of the law, said that protecting the law was his group's
“[W]e will put everything we've got
into it,” O'Connor said.
Schubert, who helped organize the
signature gathering effort, is also the political director of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which endorsed the repeal
effort last month.
Referring to AB1266 as the “bathroom
law,” NOM President Brian Brown said that it is “a horrible
attempt by activists to strip society of all gender and uses children
as a weapon in their culture war.”
“The National Organization for
Marriage fully supports the efforts of the Privacy For All Students
coalition to repeal this dangerous law. Opening our most vulnerable
areas at school including showers, bathrooms, and changing rooms to
members of the opposite sex is politically-correct madness that risks
the privacy and security of our children and grandchildren,” Brown