California lawmakers have passed a bill so transgender students can access the bathrooms and changing rooms of their true gender, in a legal first for the US.
The bill, AB1266, would also mean that transgender students could also play on the sports teams of the gender they identify as.
The bill states students, ‘be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.’
The bill has been sent to California Governor Jerry Brown, who’s office has not yet stated whether he will sign it into law.
If signed into law California would be come the first US state to create a legal right to access public school facilities and activities based on gender identity although other states already have general policies allowing it.
The bill was passed by the California Assembly in May and was voted in favor 21 to 9 in the California Senate on Wednesday.
The bill was largely opposed by state Republicans, with one, Senator Jim Nielsen telling radio station KCRA the measure would expose teens to being molested.
‘There are youthful sex offenders,’ Nielsen told KCRA, ‘I guarantee there would be those who would use this opportunity.’
Other Republicans argued that mediocre male athletes might join girl teams to gain a competitive edge.
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