Republican state Senators, Joel Anderson of Alpine, left, Mark Wyland of Escondido, center, and Steve Knight of Palmdale confer as the Senate debated a bill regarding transgender students, at the Capitol in Sacramento on July 3, 2013. Anderson, Wyland and Knight voted against the measure.
The state Senate sent Governor Jerry Brown a bill Wednesday that seeks to expand protections for transgender students in public schools.
AB 1266 would compel schools to treat students as the gender they identify with, not the one they were born with.
A transgender 16-year-old who was born a girl but identifies as a boy testified to the Senate’s Education Committee last week that his school forces him to take physical education in all girls classes. He said that leaves him feeling isolated and alone.
Along with taking P.E. with boys, the bill would allow him to use the boys’ bathroom and try out for the boys’ football team.
The bill is authored by assembly members in San Francisco, South Gate, and San Diego and is endorsed by a long list of gay rights groups. The California Catholic Conference told the Los Angeles Times local school districts should have the autonomy to decide these issues, not the state.
L.A. Unified and San Francisco schools have had similar policies in place for nearly a decade. School officials there have reported no problems with it.
Once the governor gets the bill he has 12 days to take action.