Phil Matier: California’s Transgender Rights For Kids Under Fire

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—A conservative coalition is seeking to overturn a recently passed law that gives transgendered students certain rights in the state. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the law, that lets transgender students use either the boys or girls restroom and lets them play on whichever sports team they feel most comfortable on, in September.

Opponents of the law, however, say that they have gathered enough signatures to put a measure on the ballot to repeal the law.

Phil Matier: California’s Transgender Rights For Kids Under Fire

This is the same sort of group of social conservatives—churches, etc.—that came out against gay marriage. They say this is another case of the state taking laws from the bedroom and forcing them into the classroom.

Transgender rights is the idea that kids, after some counseling from the school, could decide what sex they actually are and if they are in transition. It passed in the Legislature, largely along party lines with a Democratic supermajority, and was signed by the governor.

Most people thought it was a done deal but this group hit the streets with volunteers, along with paid signature gatherers, and they came in with enough numbers—in record time—that looks like they could qualify for next year’s ballot.

They have over 115,000 signatures above the half million needed.

It will be interesting because the gay marriage law took years after going back and forth and Prop 8 still passed. This is taking transgender rights to a new frontier. It’s next on the agenda and it’s going to be a hotly debated issue in the coming year.

If this qualifies to go on the ballot, it will put the law on hold. It’s another cutting-edge issue that everyone is going to have an opinion on and a lot of people are going to be confused about.

This is also another social issue that’s likely to bring in money, for both sides, from outside the state. Each side is going to have to match each other.

Ultimately, this may not reach the ballot box; it may be decided in the courts.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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